NEW DELHI: Delhi Metro operations were slapped on Sunday following a squall and sudden dust storm with a wind speed of up to 109 kmph accompanied by light rain hit the national capital, officials said. The sky turned cloudy around 4:30 pm and gusty winds swept the city.
Thousands of commuters were stuck on the winding and busy Blue Line, which links Dwarka in northwest Delhi to Noida and Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh, for almost 45 minutes. The Metro services were later resumed and the trains plied at halting speed.
The rains and storm brought down trees and tree branches in some areas and led to traffic snarls, forcing two-wheeler drivers to take shelter under bridges and flyovers. Motorists switched on headlights to find their way in the enveloping darkness.
The flight movements at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport were also put on hold, due to the thunderstorm. As many as 40 flights were diverted at the airport so far.
A Delhi bound Vistara flight which was heading to Srinagar was diverted to Amritsar following the bad weather conditions.
But the sudden change in weather did bring respite to residents from the sweltering heat.
However, the relief to Delhi residents came after a sweltering day, when the maximum temperature had reached 40.60 degrees Celsius, a notch above the normal, the meteorological department official said. Humidity during the morning hours was recorded at 60 per cent.
(With inputs from agencies)