Thunderstorms, lightning wreak havoc in 4 states

A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi, on Sunday. PTI Photo

Dust storms and thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds wreaked havoc in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital, killing at least 41 people and leaving a trail of destruction.

At least 18 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, while 12 people including four children were killed in West Bengal, 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 Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400.

According to the India Meteorological Department, thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

A squall and dust storm with a wind speed of up to 109 kmph battered Delhi and neighbouring areas, killing two persons and throwing flight, rail and metro operations out of gear.

Flights hit

The dust storm brought operations at the IGI airport to a halt during the evening rush hours, with close to 70 flights being diverted to other places.

The operations at the airport had to be shut down for close to two and half hours, sources at Air Traffic Control (ATC) at the airport said, adding that the magnitude of the disruptions in traffic was more than what was anticipated.

"The situation is slightly unique, the disruptions are mostly on account of wind shear... the number of diversions is now touching 70," the sources said.

Metro operations were affected at a number of stations on the Violet and Blue lines after trees fell on overhead electricity (OHE) wires.

The sky turned dark grey around 4.30 pm. Gusty winds and rain lashed the national capital, causing the temperature to drop more than 15 notches to 25.2 degrees Celsius from the day's maximum of 40.6 degrees Celsius.

The strong winds knocked down nearly 200 trees in the city.

In AP, Telangana

At least nine people, including three farmers, died due to lightning in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Sunday.

Most of the deaths were reported from the north coastal district of Srikakulam. Thunderstorms were also reported from parts of Viziagaram and Visakhapatnam districts.

Three farmers died in Mancherial district of Telangana. In Srikakulam district, two deaths were reported from each of Tiddimi of Patapatnam and Meliyaputti blocks.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been experiencing thunderstorm and unseasonal rain for more than a week.

The MeT office has forecast thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds at isolated places in various districts of Telangana and south coastal Andhra Pradesh till Monday.

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Thunderstorms, lightning wreak havoc in 4 states

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