Dust storms and thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds wreaked havoc in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital, killing at least 34 people and leaving behind a trail of destruction.
West Bengal bore the brunt of a thunderstorm that left at least 12 people including four children dead, while 11 were killed in Uttar Pradesh and nine in Andhra Pradesh, and two in Delhi, officials said.
Today's devastation comes over 10 days after storms hit UP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400. UP was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district in the western part of the state.
According to the India Meteorological Department, thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu today.
A squall and dust storm with a wind speed of up to 109 kmph battered Delhi and neighbouring areas today, killing two persons and injuring 19 others, and throwing flight, rail and metro operations out of gear.
Principal secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi told PTI, "Four deaths have been reported from Kasganj, while two persons died in Bulandshahr. Apart from this, one death each has been reported from Kannauj, Aligarh, Sambhal, Ghaziabad and Noida."
In Andhra Pradesh, nine persons were killed in lightning strikes.
While seven persons were killed in Srikakulam district alone, two more were killed in Kadapa, officials said.
Various parts of the southern state witnessed rain, accompanied by gales.
In Delhi, the sky turned dark grey around 4:30 pm. Gusty winds and rain lashed the national capital, causing the temperature to drop to 25.2 degrees Celsius.
The much-needed reprieve came after a sweltering day, when the maximum temperature had reached 40.60 degrees Celsius, a notch above the normal. Humidity during the morning hours was recorded at 60 per cent, a MeT official said.
The officials said two squalls whipped through the national capital. One clocking 109 kmph hit the Safdarjung area at 4:44 pm and continued till 4:46 pm. The other gusting to 96 kmph battered the Palam area at 4:33 pm.
The strong winds knocked down nearly 200 trees in the city. Incidents of wall collapse were reported from Najafgarh, Transit Camp, Nehru Place, Mohan Garden in Uttam Nagar and Raj Nagar in Palam, said a senior officer of the Delhi Fire Service.
A man was crushed to death in a wall collapse, while a woman was killed when a tree uprooted and fell on her, the police said.
Traffic in many areas moved at a snail's pace due to the reduced visibility.
Metro operations were affected at a number of stations on the Violet and Blue lines after trees fell on overhead electricity (OHE) wires.
The Northern Railways said the train movement was disrupted on the section between the Hazrat Nizamuddin and Palwal stations due to tree felling.
A few passenger and freight trains were held up for around 25 minutes because of the disruption. The Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express was also stopped near Sonepat due to uprooting of trees.
The weatherman forecast partly cloudy skies and light rainfall tomorrow.
"A cloud mass passed over Delhi. The extreme weather not only affected Delhi; Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Jind in Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, said G P Sharma, President (Meteorology) Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.
The winds continued to gust to 70 kmph even after the cloud mass passed over Delhi.
Sharma and Devi warned of similar weather conditions tomorrow.
Thunderstorm and dust storm with winds speeds of up to 70 km per hour are "very likely" tomorrow in 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh, the weather office warned.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)