Heavy rains and thunderstorms on Monday provided a much-needed respite for Delhi residents from the sweltering heat wave, but affected road and air traffic during the morning rush hour and disrupted power supplies in many parts of the national capital. The rain, accompanied by strong winds, also caused homes and trees to fall in some places, injuring at least eight people. Officials said waterlogging was reported from several areas and eight cars parked on the side of the road were damaged by a tree falling on them.
The Meteorological Department said this was the first moderate storm of the season for the national capital, which has been reeling under unprecedentedly high temperatures over the past few weeks, breaking the 49-degree mark on one occasion. Fire officials said eight people were injured in house collapse incidents reported from Gualapuri, Jokalpuri, Shankar Road and Moti Nagar in the city. Meteorological Department officials said rain and thunderstorms caused a sharp drop in minimum surface temperature on Monday in Delhi which fell from 29°C to 18°C from 5.40am to 7am. The lowest temperature was recorded at 17.2 degrees Celsius, nine degrees lower than the average of the season, while the maximum temperature was recorded at 31.5 degrees Celsius, which is eight degrees lower than the normal range.
Delhi recorded the lowest minimum temperature for the month of May since May 1, 2004 when the temperature stabilized at 16.7°C. The record for the lowest temperature is 15.2 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on May 2, 1982. Strong winds uprooted trees in nearly 44 locations, according to data published by the Delhi municipality. In New Moti Bagh, south of Delhi, a tree collapsed on a car, but its occupants escaped unharmed. Officials said such incidents were reported from Delhi and Dala Kwan districts, but no one was injured. There were reports of uprooted trees in 13 locations in the northern region, 10 in the southern region, seven in the western region and 11 in Najvagarh district, according to official statements. High winds during the storm led to many blackouts in the city mainly due to trees and branches falling on overhead power lines and poles.
Power outages ranging from a few minutes to several hours were reported from different parts of the city, including Shalimar Bagh, Keshav Puram, Moti Nagar, Bwana, Narila, Mustafaabad, Najafgarh and Dwarka, according to officials from the power disturbances. “The heavy rains on multiple periods along with the storm damaged the electrical grid and caused frequent tripping, leading to power outages in Narila, Bawana, Badli, Mangulpuri, Kirari, Shalimar Bagh, Keshav Puram and Moti Nagar districts this morning,” the spokesperson Official name of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited.
He said their team is working on restoring the power line in phases. “Wet and swaying tree branches are also touching overhead cables causing short circuits, sparks and outages. In the event of instability, the protective shutdown in such conditions, particularly in flooded areas, was rectified and most defects were corrected within half an hour,” said an official in the event of instability. The official said operations and maintenance teams in situations of instability in Delhi were on high alert, and in most cases, the power supply was quickly restored. It took a little longer than usual to restore power in some areas where civilian agencies had to Cut down and remove trees.
Incidents of power outages have also been reported from Mutia Khan, Kundli, Nangloi, Pashim Vihar, Mukherjee Nagar, Badli, Mangulpuri, Kirari and Keshavpuram. The rains also caused waterlogging and subsequent traffic jams on various tracts, including ITO, DND Flyway, Narsinghpur-Jaipur Road and near AIIMS. Waterlogging has also been reported from the lower Pul-Prahladpur Pass, Narsinghpur on NH-48, Rao Tola Ram Bridge in Vasant Vihar and other areas.
Police said they received 62 PCR calls, as informed by the communications unit, about the uprooting of trees. Airport authorities also warned people not to contact the airline for updated flight details. “Due to bad weather, flight operations at DelhiAirport have been affected. Passengers are requested to contact the respective airline for updated flight information. #bad weather #rain,” Delhi airport tweeted.
Several airlines such as Indigo and Vistara have also advised people to keep sufficient travel time on their commute to the airport. “It’s flowing in #Delhi. Departures and arrivals are affected for flights. Keep adequate travel time on hand while traveling to the airport,” tweeted IndiGo.
“#TravelUpdate: Due to bad weather (strong wind) in Delhi Arrivals/Departures are likely to be affected,” Vistara said in a tweet. SpiceJet posted on the microblogging site: “Due to bad weather in Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and subsequent flights may be affected.”
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