Storm alerts continue in several states; death toll rises by 4
08 May 2018
With storm warnings continuing in several states, a dust storm with a windspeed of 70 kmph barrelled into the national capital late on Monday night, an official at the Safdarjung observatory said. Dust storms were also reported in Gurgaon - a part of the Delhi National Capital Region - and Chandigarh.
Last week, at least 124 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning.
The threat of the thunderstorms, which have wreaked havoc over parts of 15 states, is yet to be over. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert forecasting that several parts of north India including Delhi could witness thunderstorm and squall today with winds gusting up to 50-70 kmph.
The IMD said that the thunderstorms are likely to hit several parts of north India till Friday since the mountains of Himachal Pradesh have received fresh snowfall.
Thunderstorm and hailstorm alert has been issued for Utarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand for the next few hours.
The weather in Delhi, however, was reported to have turned quite pleasant after last night’s lashing. Meanwhile Shimla, the summer capital of India during the days of British rule, wore a blanket of white, creating great photo opportunities.
On Monday, an 11-year-old girl was killed in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri after a tree fell on her. Strong winds have snapped electric lines and uprooted a number of trees. In Tripura, an elderly woman was killed and over 1,800 houses were damaged after a nor'wester struck various parts of the state. A woman and a child were killed in separate incidents of house collapse and 15 others injured when high-velocity winds swept across the Porsa town in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.
According to private weather service Skymet, dust storm and thunderstorm along with rain and thundershowers are expected to continue to lash the states of Punjab and Haryana today. Moderate winds at the speed of 40-50 km/hour gusting up to 60 km/hour can also be anticipated, the agency added.
The director general of the IMD, K J Ramesh, said that hill states like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh will continue to experience thunderstorm like Monday in the next 24 hours. "Activity over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan will reduce as compared to yesterday," he added.
Skymet says that India usually records 4-5 spells of intense thunderstorm and dust storm. The country sees only two spells of extremely severe pre-Monsoon activities, one of which has been witnessed already last week.
"Dust storm basically is a result of wind instability, which once released does not occur again soon. Thus, expecting second round of these severe weather events on the weekend gone by was not expected," said G P Sharma, president, meteorology and climate change, Skymet Weather.