Delhi storm: 9 killed, 5 planes damaged, 24 flights diverted

May 31, 2014 - 1:42:39 am
A roadside vendor moves to a safer place during a sudden thunderstorm and rain in New Delhi yesterday.

New Delhi: At least nine people were killed in Delhi, as a massive thunder storm lashed the region yesterday, crippling road traffic, metro services and flight operations and hitting power supply. 

Airport sources said that fiveplanes, which were parked at the T-3 (terminal 3) of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, were damaged. These belonged to Go Air and Air India.

Meanwhile, 24 flights which were coming to Delhi were diverted, officials said. Among the flights that were diverted included four international flights coming from Kathmandu, Sharjah, Colombo and Kabul.

Delhi Police said six people died and 13 were injured in various areas of the city in accidents like felling of trees, collapse of walls and electrocution following the storm which was accompanied by winds at a speed of over 90 kmph.

Police in Ghaziabad said the storm claimed three lives and injured more than a 12 people besides causing heavy loss to property in different parts of the city. The storm struck Delhi at 4:58pm immediately throwing normal life out of gear.

Thousands of people were stranded outside Metro stations and on roads as traffic almost came to a halt due the storm which darkened the sky.

Most areas in city plunged into darkness immediately after the storm as uprooted trees snapped power lines. Metro train services were disrupted on almost all lines for about an hour due to power failure during the evening rush time.

Met department termed the storm as “cumulonimbus” and attributed it to western disturbance over Pakistan. Areas of east Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad were most affected by the storm.

Met office said similar weather conditions are likely to persist for over the next two days. 

Areas in South, East and North Delhi faced long power cuts ranging from one to four hours. Supply of power could not be restored till late in the evening in several areas in North and North West Delhi.

The city saw massive traffic jams as the storm uprooted trees snapping power lines in many areas and affecting traffic lights leading to chaos on the streets.

The maximum temperature recorded yesterday was 42.8 degree Celsius while the minimum was 29.1 degree.

At some locations including Janakpuri and Inderlok, material like tin sheet and pipes got entangled into the overhead electrification wire due to the dust storm, making train movement impossible. The storm affected many transmission lines and power generation plants in Delhi.

“A maximum load up to around 3000 MW was affected. The lines which tripped included lines of both northern grid as well as of Delhi Transco,” said a senior Power department official.