At least 26 people were feared dead in weather-related incidents across India on Sunday, the Hindustan Times reported. Eighteen deaths due to lightning were reported in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the English daily said. Two died as a dust storm and rain accompanied by high-speed winds hit Delhi, while six deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh.
The thunderstorm is likely to continue over the next two to three days, Charan Singh, a scientist with the Indian Meteorological Department, told ANI.
Flight movements at Indira Gandhi International Airport were suspended for at least 40 minutes, according to The Hindu. Nearly 31 domestic flights and six international flights were delayed following the dust storm. Ten domestic flights were diverted to nearby airports. “Winds were blowing at 52 knots impacting flight operations,” said IMD Director RK Jenamani.
Traffic came to a standstill at several areas in Delhi while Metro services along the Noida-Dwarka line was stalled for 30 minutes. Metro services on the Blue Line were disrupted after a tree fell on the tracks between Rajiv Chowk and RK Ashram stations, reported ANI. The dust storm interrupted a programme that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was to attend at IP Extension.
The Met office has predicted thunderstorms accompanied with gusty winds over Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, according to ANI. It has also warned that thunderstorm and dust storm with wind speeds of up to 70 km per hour were “very likely” on Monday in 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh.