A massive dust storm with winds gusting up to 70 kilometres per hour has battered northern India.
Meanwhile, Manmohan Singh, the Director of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Himachal Pradesh told ANI, "Heavy rains and snowfall can be expected in next 24 hours". Delhi government has announced that all evening schools across the national capital will remain closed.
Strong gusts of wind followed by rain hit several parts of Delhi and Gurgaon late on Monday night, with power cuts and uprooted trees being reported from parts of the national capital region. All schools in Ghaziabad district will also remain shut today. A yellow coloured alert has been issued for these states. Heavy rain is likely on Tuesday over Tamil Nadu, Kerala and south Karnataka, it said. Metro services in Delhi and NCR will also be affected by the storm.
The Delhi Metro has made a decision to exercise extreme caution in running of trains in wake of the warning. A dust storm occurred in Sriganganagar disrupting normal life in the area. At around 11:15 pm, strong winds lashed New Delhi, a Safdarganj observatory official said.
"Thunderstorm accompanied with squall (wind speed reaching 50-70 kmph) are very likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim", it said.
The commuters were also advised to take shelter only under concrete structures and the car-drivers were asked to use dipper lights while they were driving. The department has warned that the states which are likely to be hit by storm are Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, and parts of Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir.
Last week, 124 people died and more than 300 people were injured in the incidents of storms and lightning in 5 states of India, including Rajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh.
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