Large scale destruction across 4 states; over 70 flights diverted from IGI Airport
New Delhi: Dust storms and thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds wreaked havoc in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital on Sunday, killing at least 34 people and leaving behind a trail of destruction.
West Bengal bore the brunt of a thunderstorm that left at least 12 people including four children dead, while 11 were killed in Uttar Pradesh and nine in Andhra Pradesh, and two in Delhi, officials said. At several places in north India including Delhi, high-velocity winds uprooted trees and affected road, rail and air services.
Sunday’s devastation comes over 10 days after storms hit UP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400. UP was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district in the western part of the state. Subsequently on May 9, several parts of Uttar Pradesh were struck by a severe storm that left 18 dead and 27 others injured.
According to the India Meteorological Department, thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
A squall and dust storm with a wind speed of up to 109 kmph battered Delhi and neighbouring areas on Sunday, throwing flight, rail and metro operations out of gear. Over 70 flights had to be diverted from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport due to the dust storm.