Storm lashes Delhi with winds of 77kmph, 9 flights diverted - Hindustan Times

Storm lashes Delhi with winds of 77kmph, 9 flights diverted

May 11, 2024 07:27 AM IST

The storm caused widespread damage across the city—between 9 pm and 11 pm, the Delhi Police received 60 calls about uprooted trees.

A massive dust storm whipped through Delhi late on Friday night, with parts of the city logging wind speeds of up to 77km/hour, Met department officials said, and isolated areas of Delhi receiving light rain and hailstorm.

Commuters at Pandav Nagar during the storm on Friday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Commuters at Pandav Nagar during the storm on Friday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

The storm led to widespread damage across the city — between 9pm and 11pm, the Delhi Police received 60 calls about uprooted trees and 22 calls related to a portion of a house or wall collapsing. In addition, the fire department received around 50 such calls, officials said.

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Civic officials — MCD and NDMC — said that reports of complaints related to damage to trees or temporary structures was still being received and compiled.

At the time of going to print, there was no clarity on the number of deaths or injuries due to the damage caused by the storm — police officers said all details of casualties, if any, will be shared at later stage.

The storm also led to flight diversions, with airport officials stating that at least nine aircraft were diverted to Jaipur.

Earlier in the day, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a “yellow alert” for a dust storm and rain for the weekend, but by 8pm, upgraded it to an orange alert — a warning that is issued when extremely bad weather is expected.

The storm began at around 9pm, with IMD reporting wind speeds of 77 kmph over Ujwa at 10pm, 63 kmph at Pragati Maidan, and 61kmph at Lodhi Road.

“Stay indoors, close windows and doors and avoid travel if possible. Take safe shelters, do not take shelter under trees,” IMD said in an advisory.

Krishna Mishra, scientist at IMD, said, “The dust storm occurred due to an interaction between mid-tropospheric southwesterlies and lower tropospheric easterlies.”

Delhi’s maximum temperature remained below 40°C for the third consecutive day on Friday, with a maximum of 39°C — a marginal change from the 38.8°C the previous day. The minimum, however, stayed above normal at 27.7°C, compared to 26°C on Thursday.

IMD officials have predicted rain for the weekend.

“We may see generally cloudy skies throughout the weekend, with a possibility of very light rain and thunderstorms... The rainfall is due to the influence of western disturbances as well as some low-level easterlies coming in from the Bay of Bengal,” said Mishra, adding that partly cloudy skies might continue till May 14.

According to the IMD forecast, the maximum is expected to dip by a couple of notches and settle around 37°C by Sunday, while the minimum is expected to oscillate between 28°C and 29°C.

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