A severe dust storm and light rain hit vast swathes of north India, leaving seven people dead and damaging houses in Rajasthan and affecting Metro rail services in the national capital.
A minor girl and a woman were among those killed in Rajasthan by Tuesday’s freak storm, which left a trail of destruction across the state, damaging buildings, uprooting trees and electricity poles and disrupting power supply in many districts.
Five people were killed and 10 more injured in Bharatpur district in Rajasthan. Two people were killed in Bikaner while six others were injured, officials said.
The dust storm kept many indoors while the rest had no option but to take cover. (Virender Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)
While many parts of the state were hit by a massive sand storm followed by thunder squalls, there were reports of hailstorms in some areas where unseasonal rains in March had left many dead and damaged crops, triggering one of the worst agrarian crises in Rajasthan.
In Delhi, the storm and rains brought some relief from the sweltering heat but affected the Metro, which operated trains on a single track between Janakpuri West and Subhash Nagar, causing problems for commuters.
Metro services were hit because an overhead electric line was damaged by the storm.
Officials in Rajasthan said rains accompanied by high velocity winds hit Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Alwar Jaipur, Bharatpur, and Jaisalmer districts in the afternoon.
Hailstorms were reported from Bikaner, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Bharatpur districts.
The storm brought down the searing heat several notches.
The government said Rs 4 lakh will be paid as compensation to the families of the dead.
The Met department said the sudden change in weather was caused by a movement of spiral winds over northwest Rajasthan and a high pressure gradient and heat.
The weatherman warned of more rain and hailstorms on Wednesday.
Watch:Dust Storm kills 9 in Rajasthan