40 dead as squall, storms wreak havoc


As per forecast, the maximum and minimum temperatures will hover around 38° C and 23° C. The India Meteorological Department had on Saturday predicted Uttarakhand, J&K and Himachal Pradesh would witness thunderstorm accompanied by squall.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had earlier issued a weather warning until 12 May but said that the intensity of the thunderstorm would be within 50-70 kmph. According to Met officials, the highest wind speed during the squall was recorded at 109km/hr at Safdarjung, followed closely by Palam at 96km/hr.

Eighty-seven of those killed were in the worst-hit northern Uttar Pradesh state, where the storms have affected the lives of more than 100 million residents, who also have lost cattle and crops.

Four persons died in Etawah, three in Mathura and one each in Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur and Firozabad. Uttar Pradesh was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, a lot of them in Agra district in western part.

The sky turned dark at around 4.30pm as gusts of winds and heavy clouds brought the temperature down 10 notches.

In both cases, trees toppled and damaged overhead Metro wires, an official spokesman said.

Humidity during the morning hours was recorded at 60 per cent, the official added.

A 56-year-old woman died after the branch of a tree fell on her in East Delhi's Pandav Nagar during the storm, the police said.

The massive storm with a wind speed of 120 km per hour uprooted several trees and electricity poles, dipped the visibility, bringing traffic to a standstill, while pedestrians rushed to seek shelter.

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

The farmers were trying to place covers on the paddy kept in the field after cutting but did not succeed due to strong winds and rains. The Police Control Room received 260 calls about incidents related to the storm till 7.30pm, police said.

"Till 9 p.m. more than 70 flights have been diverted and a few outbound flights have been delayed due to the ongoing weather condition", the official told IANS.

The dust storm also swept parts of southern Andhra Pradesh state. We had forecasted that the weather will be adverse for 2-3 days.