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Dust storm hits Delhi NCR region: Here’s how to keep yourself safe

A dust storm, with a wind speed of 70 kilometres per hour, hit the national capital on Monday followed by a squall, bringing down the temperature after a hot day. The high-velocity wind swept through Delhi around 11.15 p.m.

The MeT department had issued a warning message at 8.53 p.m., saying a spell of rain/thunderstorm accompanied with squall is likely to occur over Delhi and NCR during in the next three to four hours. It has forecast rains and gusty winds for Tuesday as well.

Schools shut

Earlier in the day, the Delhi government decided to close all evening schools on Tuesday and put search and rescue teams on standby in the wake of the meteorological (MeT) department issuing a warning of heavy rain and thunderstorm.

The government said that all evening schools will be shut tomorrow after Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness in the wake of the warning.

“All evening schools will remain closed tomorrow following the weather warning,” a senior government official told PTI.

The government has also asked other schools not hold outdoor activities and extracurricular activities between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. during which winds speed is expected to remain high.

Dos and Don’ts

The Delhi government has issued a list of “dos and don’ts” to deal with the situation.

In the list of “dos and don’ts”, the government has advised citizens to try to stay indoors and stay away from verandas and keep a watch on local weather updates and warnings.

The government also asked people to ensure that children and animals are inside and unplug unnecessary electrical appliances.

The advisory also asked citizens to avoid taking a bath or shower or running water for any purpose. “This is because lightning can travel along pipes. Keep away from doors, windows, fireplaces, stoves, bath-tubs, or any other electrical charge conductors,” the advisory stated.

Earlier on Monday, the Revenue Department of the Delhi government issued directions to all district officers and said water and power utilities would also keep restoration teams ready. “The district and sub-district search and rescue teams have been put on standby,” a senior official of the department said.

Delhi Police, DMRC advisory

The Delhi Traffic Police has advised commuters to plan their journey after checking the weather conditions. The advisory stated that it has alerted the field formations to be ready to get obstacles such as fallen trees removed.

“It is advised to avoid travelling during the storm and keep away from overhead electrical wire, tinned roofs, trees etc. while stopping or parking vehicles. The gusty storm might have a wreaked effect and is expected to cause a lot of destruction. Take shelter under concrete structure or strong shelter if the storm breaks out in the midst of journey. People are advised to use dippers and parking lights while driving to keep the vision clear. Prepare your journey plan before going out and keep yourself updated about the storm. Be careful and alert and in case of emergency contact Delhi Police,” said Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Ratna Bhatnagar.

The Delhi Metro, too, decided to exercise extreme caution in running of trains in the wake of the warning.

“If the wind speed is reported more than 90 kmph, then trains will be put on hold at platforms and no train will enter platforms with a speed of more than 15 kmph. In this case, normal movement of trains will be restored once the wind speed is reported less than 85 kmph for a continuous five minutes,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a statement.

“Appropriate announcements will be made at stations during this period” the DMRC added.

Officials of the fire, revenue, traffic police, home, public works departments and others were present in the meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary.

Thunderstorm and squall

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an alert forecasting that several parts of north India, including Delhi, could witness thunderstorm and squall on Tuesday with winds gusting up to 50-70 kilometres per hour.

However, the weather remained clear during the day. The maximum temperature settled at 39.6 degrees Celsius and the minimum at 24 degrees Celsius.

The MeT Department said that a storm warning was sent out due to an active western disturbance over the western Himalayan region and the plains of north-west India which will be at its peak activity on Tuesday.

The IMD issued an amber-coloured alert, indicating severe weather, for parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, western Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an alert forecasting that several parts of north India, including Delhi, could witness thunderstorm and squall on Tuesday with winds gusting up to 50-70 kilometres per hour.

However, the weather remained clear during the day. The maximum temperature settled at 39.6 degrees Celsius and the minimum at 24 degrees Celsius.

The MeT Department said that a storm warning was sent out due to an active western disturbance over the western Himalayan region and the plains of north-west India which will be at its peak activity on Tuesday.

The IMD issued an amber-coloured alert, indicating severe weather, for parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, western Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.

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