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Dust storm hits air traffic, Metro service in Delhi; two killed, 18 injured

Agencies/ 13 May 18 | 11:36 PM

Dust storm hits traffic in Delhi, 189 trees uprooted. Photo: PTI

Two persons died and 18 others were injured in Delhi when a squall and powerful dust storm barrelled through the national capital on Sunday, police said. A 56-year-old woman died after a branch of a tree fell on her in east Delhi's Pandav Nagar area, they said.

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Police said Somvati Sinha was out for an evening walk when the mishap happened. She had suffered severe head injuries and was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. During the walk, Sinha was accompanied by her neighbours, who miraculously escaped, police said.

In another accident, a 19-year-old man died after several bricks fell on him in southeast Delhi's Jaitpur area. Rohit was injured and admitted to Apollo Hospital, where he died, police said.

The dust storm with a wind speed reaching 109 kmph fell nearly 190 trees in Delhi. The Police Control Room received 260 calls about incidents related to the storm till 7.30pm, police said.

Four incidents of wall collapse were reported in Delhi from Najafgarh, Transit Camp, Nehru Place, Mohan Garden in Uttam Nagar and Raj Nagar in Palam, Delhi Fire Service said. Two fire-tenders each were rushed to the areas.

Dust storm hits traffic in Delhi, 189 trees uprooted

According to a senior Delhi Traffic Police officer, traffic was affected in Lutyens' Delhi, West and South Delhi. Traffic was affected due to uprooting of around 70 trees, and about 25 trees which have fallen on roads are yet to be removed, the traffic police said.

All traffic police cranes were deployed while disaster management vehicles of traffic and municipal bodies were being also involved in removing bigger trees which were uprooted, they said.

Delhi Police has received 40 calls about fallen poles which affected traffic movement.

Storm hits air traffic, Delhi Metro service

Air traffic and Metro service too was disrupted due to strong winds and accompanying rain, officials said. Power supply was affected in many areas in Delhi and Gurugram in Haryana.

In Sarita Vihar area in southeast Delhi, a tin sheet blown off a rooftop by strong wind hit pedestrian Rohit, 22, injuring him seriously. He was rushed to Apollo hospital where he was declared brought dead.

In Pandav Nagar area in east Delhi, Sonwati, 56, died after a tree fell on her, police added.

More than 70 incoming flights were diverted from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here in the evening after the powerful dust storm and rain reduced visibility, an airport official said.

An IGIA official said the diversions took place between 4.15 p.m. and 9 p.m.

"Till 9 p.m. more than 70 flights have been diverted and a few outbound flights have been delayed due to the ongoing weather condition," the official told IANS.

Delhi Metro operations were also hit. Thousands of commuters were stuck on the winding and busy Blue Line, which links Dwarka in west Delhi to Noida and Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh, for more than 45 minutes.

The Violet Line, one of the six lines of the Delhi Metro that connects Kashmere Gate in north Delhi to Escorts Mujesar in Faridabad in Haryana, was also disrupted.

In both cases, trees toppled and damaged overhead Metro wires, an official spokesman said.

When the Metro services finally resumed after about two hours, the trains were run haltingly.

The MeT department had forecast rain and thunderstorm with gusty winds on Sunday.

Mahesh Palawat, Director of the private weather forecast agency Skymet, told IANS that the change in weather was due to western disturbance which reached Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh on Saturday evening.

"A cyclonic circulation formed near Haryana and north Rajasthan along with the western disturbance. South-easterly and easterly winds are creating moisture and high temperature in the region which caused the formation of thunder clouds. The strom blew over a trough which is spread from north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

"Delhi falls within the trough, but now this will move towards western Uttar Pradesh. There is a likelihood of light rains with thunder towards the afternoon or evening for two more days. Westerly winds will form again and temperature will begin to rise after May 15," Palawat said.

Just after the dust storm hit Delhi and the National Capital Region, Delhi, Gurugram and Noida received heavy to moderate rains.

Thunderstorm in Uttar Pradesh kills 18 people

At least 18 people were killed and 28 injured in hail and thunderstorm that hit different parts of Uttar Pradesh today, officials said.

Five deaths have been reported from Kasganj, three from Bulandshahr and two each from Ghaziabad and Saharanpur. Apart from this, one death each has been reported from Etawah, Aligarh, Kannauj, Hapur, Noida and Sambhal, Principal Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi said.

At least 28 people were injured and around 37 houses were damaged in the hail and thunderstorm, he said.

"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all district magistrates and commissioners to provide immediate relief (to the affected people) and ensure that the injured are provided medical care immediately," Awasthi said.

In the evening, the state government had warned that hail thunderstorm, with winds speed of up to 70 km per hour, accompanied with squall and rain are very likely in parts of Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur, Shajhanpur, Sitpur, Hardoi, Lucknow, Barabanki, Raebareli, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Sant Ravidas Nagar districts.

On May 9, several parts of the state were hit by a severe storm that left 18 dead and 27 others injured. Five people died in Etawah district, three each in Mathura, Aligarh and Agra, two in Firozabad and one each in Hathras and Kanpur Dehat.

Thunderstorms and lightning on May 2-3 killed 134 people and injured over 400 in UP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Utttarakhand and Punjab. UP was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district in the western part of the state.

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