Delhi dust storm: Flights diverted, Metro routes disrupted; nine dead

A massive dust storm and heavy rainfall hit the national capital on Friday evening killing at least nine people in the NCR region, including six in Delhi.

By Sushmita Dutta | Updated: Jun 01, 2014, 18:20 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A massive dust storm and heavy rainfall hit the national capital on Friday evening killing at least nine people in the NCR region, including six in Delhi.

Delhi Police said six people died and 13 were injured in various areas of the city in accidents like felling of trees, collapse of walls and electrocution following the storm which was accompanied by winds at a speed of over 90 kmph.

Several trees and electric poles were uprooted, leading to disruption in power supply and traffic jams and chaos on roads.

The storm struck Delhi at around 5:00 PM immediately throwing normal life out of gear.

At least 18 domestic and one international Delhi-bound flights were diverted to nearby airports following today’s dust storm.

Metro train services were also disrupted today for about an hour due to power failure caused by the storm during, inconveniencing thousands of commuters.

"Metro services were disrupted due to failure/erratic power supply from Delhi Transco Limited (DTL) to Delhi Metro`s receiving sub stations (RSS) across the network, which in turn feed power to Metro system for running the trains and stations," said Anuj Dayal, DMRC Executive Director (Corporate Communications).

At some locations including Janakpuri and Inderlok material like tin sheet and pipes got entangled into the OHE (Overhead Electrification Wire) due to the dust storm, making train movement impossible.

Passengers were stranded at various metro stations and even asked to de-board the trains at various locations until normal power supply was resumed.

The train services, however, resumed from 6 PM onward after resumption of power supply from DTL and clearance of all material from the OHE wire by DMRC engineers.

However, even after normal services were restored, it took a lot of time to clear the backlog of stranded passengers. Long queues were seen at metro stations.

The Met department termed the storm as "cumulonimbus" and attributed it to western disturbance over Pakistan. NCR areas of east Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad were most affected by the storm.

Met office said similar weather conditions are likely to persist for over the next two days. At least 12 flights were diverted due to the storm, an IGI official said.

Areas in South, East and North Delhi faced long power cuts ranging from one to four hours. Supply of power could not be restored till late in the evening in several areas in North and North West Delhi.

"The cumulonimbus brings tall thunderstorms and dusty winds with a speed of over 92 kmph and are caused because of western disturbance, which is currently over Pakistan.

The meeting of cold air and hot air on the Indo-Gangetic plains causes low pressure area and also lot of instability. This results in severe thunderstorm," IMD Director General LS Rathore said.

"The storm affected northeast Haryana and the NCR. But parts of east Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad were affected the most," he added.

Police in Ghaziabad said the storm claimed three lives and injured more than a 12 people besides causing heavy loss to property in different parts of the city.
From a sunny afternoon, the sky turned dark by approximately 4:30 pm today. The Met department had predicted a cloudy evening, but the weather, which has mostly been extremely hot this week, made a dramatic change.
Today`s rains brought some respite to the people here. Mercury touched the maximum temperature yesterday which was recorded three degrees above the average at 43.7 degrees Celsius, making it the season`s hottest day so far.

Though the rainfall cooled down the climate a bit, it has not really helped in recharging the underground water table.

With agency inputs