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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Heavy rain in Delhi, flights suspended for 30 minutes

cities Updated: Oct 03, 2019 22:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

New Delhi

The capital received heavy rainfall on Thursday evening — up to 35.2mm — that forced the suspension of flight operations for nearly 30 minutes at the Delhi airport and led to traffic jams in several parts of the city.

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have predicted cloudy skies and light rain for Friday.

The maximum temperature on Thursday was 34.8°C (one degree above normal), while the minimum temperature settled at 23.8°C (two degrees above normal).

On Friday, the maximum temperature is likely to remain 34°C and the minimum temperature will also be 24°C. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) officials said that because of the heavy rain in the Capital, flight operations had to be suspended from 7.56pm to 8.22pm.

“Around 50 flights were affected as departures and arrivals were put on hold for 24 minutes. Four incoming flights had to be diverted. Many flights were delayed and we are yet to compile the exact number. The backlog that has occurred is expected to be cleared by night when frequency of the flights is less,” said an officer from the airport.

Delhi traffic police officials also said that till 8.30pm, around 24 complaints of traffic snarls were reported on their helpline.

“The heavy rainfall slowed down traffic at certain parts. We have deployed additional traffic personnel to manage traffic in arterial stretches,” a senior Delhi traffic police official said.

The rain will also spell good news for the air quality in the city, experts said. Delhiites can breathe clean air for another week, before the air quality in the national capital is predicted to begin deteriorating again.

Scientists at IMD the said that the ‘transition phase’ (the shift from easterly and south-easterly wind pattern to westerly and north-westerly winds) is still on, which means that the wind speeds will remain favourable in the city till around October 15, before its velocity and direction changes.

The air quality index (AQI) on Thursday remained 135, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Though the AQI slipped from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderate’ this week, IMD said that the pollution levels will go down again in the next two days.

“This is still the transition stage. The monsoon withdrawal is yet to happen. So, today (Thursday) the winds blew from the northwest direction, but in a day or two easterly winds will start again. At least, till October 15 there will be no major change in pollution levels,” said a senior IMD scientist.