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At Least 41 Dead as Killer Storm Hits Several States; 70 Flights Diverted, Traffic Disrupted in Capital

Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon witnessed strong winds, thunder and rain, bringing the temperatures down by a few degrees.


Updated:May 14, 2018, 8:42 AM IST

New Delhi: At least forty one people perished across states on Sunday when several storms struck in the evening with the most deaths being reported from Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. A storm that struck the Delhi-NCR region resulted in two deaths, 18 injuries, severe traffic disruptions with 70 flights being diverted and more than two dozen delayed flights while Metro services on three different lines were also hampered.

This is the second killer storm that has affected several states across the country while the last one in early April left over 130 dead in a single day.

One of the deceased on Sunday, a woman residing in Delhi's Pandav Nagar area died on Sunday when a tree fell on her during the storm. Delhi Police received 189 calls reporting fallen trees. There were 40 calls reporting uprooted electric poles in different parts of Delhi.

Nine people died due to lightning in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday while 12 others were killed in different districts of West Bengal. Andhra and Telangana have been experiencing thunderstorm and unseasonal rains in the past few days while the Met dept has issued a warning of more thunderstorms accompanied with gusty winds at isolated places in various districts of Telangana and coastal Andhra for Monday as well.

While seven persons were killed in Andhra’s Srikakulam district alone, two more were killed in Kadapa and three injured.

At least 12 people, including four children, were killed and over 15 injured in different districts of West Bengal, after lightning struck them amid heavy rains today, an official of the state disaster management department said.

Five deaths were reported from Howrah district, while one person died in Murshidabad district, he said.

In Uttar Pradesh, as many as 18 people died while 28 others were injured in a storm which hit different parts of the state on Sunday, officials said. "Four deaths have been reported from Kasganj, while two persons died in Bulandshahr. Apart from this, one death each has been reported from Kannauj, Aligarh, Sambhal, Ghaziabad and Noida," Principal secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi told PTI.

Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad witnessed strong winds, thunder and rain, bringing the temperatures down by a few degrees. In a sudden change of weather, the sky turned cloudy around 4:30 pm and gusty winds with speed of up to 109 kmph swept the city.

DMRC informed that operations on the Blue, Violet and Magenta lines were affected due to strong winds and fallen trees on overhead equipment. Underground routes of the Metro were operational but at a reduced speed owing to the winds.

A tree fell on the overhead equipment of the Blue Line Metro and cut off services.

According to ANI, the storm disrupted an event at IP Extension that was being attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal when the winds blew off parts of the stage.

Flight operations at Delhi's IGI Airport were put on hold for several hours while operations resumed only after 7.30pm. DIAL said that over 70 flights have been diverted so far as no aircraft were allowed to land in Delhi for hours.

The operations of almost all the airlines -- domestic and international -- were affected as the runway had to be closed down and the flight services suspended for a while.

Vistara's Srinagar-Delhi flight was diverted to Amritsar and its Lucknow-Delhi flight was sent to Lucknow due to the inclement weather. A few other flights were diverted to Kolkata as well.

At least four incidents of wall collapse were reported from Najafgarh, Transit Camp, Nehru Place, Mohan Garden in Uttam Nagar and Raj Nagar in Palam, said a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service.

The Northern Railways said the train movement was disrupted on the section between the Hazrat Nizamuddin and Palwal stations due to tree felling. A few passenger and freight trains were held up for around 25 minutes because of the disruption. The Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express was also stopped near Sonepat due to uprooting of trees.

Delhi temperature was on Sunday recorded at 30.6 degrees Celsius. The humidity was recorded at 60 per cent at 8:30 am, a Meteorological department official said.

The IMD had earlier issued a thunderstorm and dust storm warning for Uttar Pradesh saying strong winds of up to 70 km per hour are "very likely" in 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had also predicted Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh would witness thunderstorm accompanied by squall. It had also forecast parts of Rajasthan might see dust storm.

On May 9, several parts of Uttar Pradesh 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.

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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