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MeT Department Issues 'Amber' Alert in 8 States as Dust Storm Sweeps Over 3 of Them

The alert comes as dust storms were reported early on Tuesday in Rajasthan’s Jaipur and Jodhpur, and Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat and Saharanpur. The Delhi-NCR region was also hit by a dust storm with a wind speed of 70 km per hour late on Monday, followed by a squall.

News18.com

Updated:May 8, 2018, 12:14 PM IST
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New Delhi: The MeT Department has issued an amber-coloured alert, which is reserved for severe weather, in Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.

The alert comes as dust storms were reported early on Tuesday in Rajasthan’s Jaipur and Jodhpur, and Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat and Saharanpur. The Delhi-NCR region was also hit by a dust storm with a wind speed of 70 km per hour late on Monday, followed by a squall. The high-velocity wind swept through Delhi around 11.15 pm, PTI quoted an official at the Safdarjung observatory as saying.

In Baghpat, the storm cut off the power supply to several areas, while essential services like hospitals and rescue personnel were put on alert in Saharanpur.

The local weather department in Jaipur issued an alert for 10 districts, warning of heavy winds and rain. The districts include Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Jaipur, Dausa, Alwar, Tonk and Churu.

dust-storm
(Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com)

The MeT department has forecast rains and gusty winds in Delhi on Tuesday as well. Monday night’s showers brought down the temperature in Delhi, which had recorded a maximum temperature of 39.6 degree Celsius during the day.

The Delhi government has decided to close all evening schools on Tuesday and put search and rescue teams on standby in the wake of the IMD warning of heavy rain and thunderstorm. The government has also asked other schools to not hold outdoor activities and extracurricular activities between 3 pm to 7 pm during which winds speed is expected to remain high.

The Traffic Police, too, have alerted their field formations to be ready to remove obstacles such as fallen trees and asked commuters to check weather conditions before travelling.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which operates trains in the national capital and NCR, said it would exercise extreme caution in running of trains. "If wind speed is reported in the range of 70-90 kmph then train movement will remain normal, but trains will enter with a restricted speed of 40 kmph or less at the platforms on elevated section. If wind speed is reported more than 90 kmph then trains will be put on hold at platforms and no train will enter platform with a speed of more than 15 kmph," a senior DMRC official told PTI.



In this case, normal movement of trains will be restored once the wind speed is reported less than 85kmph for continuous five minutes. Appropriate announcements will be made at stations during this period, he said.

The IMD has issued an alert forecasting that several parts of north India, including Delhi, could witness thunderstorm and squall on Tuesday, with winds gusting up to 50-70 km per hour.

Officials of fire services, Revenue, Traffic Police, Home, Public Works Department and others were present in a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary. In the list of ‘dos and don'ts’, the government has advised citizens to try to stay indoors and keep a watch on local weather updates and warnings.

The government also asked people to ensure that children and animals are inside and to unplug unnecessary electrical appliances. The advisory also asked citizens to avoid taking a bath or shower or running water for any purpose.

"This is because lightning can travel along pipes. Keep away from doors, windows, fire places, stoves, bath-tubs or any other electrical charge conductors," the advisory stated.

At least 124 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning last week.



(With PTI inputs)
| Edited by: Puja Menon
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