New Delhi: National capital Delhi and surrounding areas were hit by high-velocity winds late on Monday night. Rain followed the dust storm in several areas of Delhi and Gurgaon leading to power cuts. Trees fell in some areas, blocking roads. The India Meteorological Department has issued a weather alert for north India on Tuesday, saying parts of the region including Delhi could be hit by thunderstorms and squall. The region could experience winds with 50-70 kmph speed.
Here are the top developments you need to know:
* Authorities in Delhi and National Capital Region have ordered schools to remain shut today as a precautionary measure. While the Delhi government has closed all evening schools today, in Meerut, Noida and Ghaziabad, all schools and some other educational institutions will remain shut.
* Schools in Delhi have also been asked to curtail outdoor and other extracurricular activities between 3 pm to 7 pm – the time period when high speed winds are expected to blow.
* The Delhi Metro too is taking precautions in view of the thunderstorm warning. An official said trains will be stopped at stations if the wind speed crosses 90 kmph. Further, trains will not enter platforms with a speed of more than 15 kmph.
* The Delhi Traffic Police has asked people to stay alert and not venture out during the storm. Those who are already on the streets and roads should exercise caution and take shelter in concrete buildings during the storm. Standing under trees or near electricity poles should be avoided.
* The Delhi government has also put its disaster management teams on alert.
* In Haryana too, schools will remain closed today while all municipal officials have been asked to be on duty. Other emergency services, too, have been put on standby.
* As per the IMD warning, thunderstorms and squalls are expected across 20 states today – Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Odisha, Telangana, north Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
* The recent spell of thunderstorms and rain has been attributed to a western disturbance and cyclonic circulation in northwest India.
* Last week, at least 124 people were killed and over 300 injured when dust storms accompanied by squall and lightening hit five states last Wednesday.