Dust storm in Delhi: Latest update

Aravallis, which act as green barrier for National Capital, have been ravaged over decades

The air quality of the National Capital, which has been baking at temperatures in excess of 45 degrees Celsius since last week, wasn’t ruined overnight.

The city, which starts resembling a gas chamber every winter, is a dust chamber these days, and the Air Quality Index has been ruling in the range of ‘unhealthy’ to ‘hazardous’ for months now.

A heavy dust storm hit the Delhi NCR region Wednesday evening, as the city witnessed a cloudy sky in the morning. A thick haze was hanging over Delhi due to the dust storm, affecting visibility. Meanwhile, a storm in Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir left two women dead.

The heavy dust storm was also witnessed in neighbouring Gurgaon and Noida.

The Palam observatory recorded a high of 43.4 degrees Celsius and a low of 32.4 degrees on Wednesday.

A thick haze was hanging over the city due to the dust storm, affecting visibility.

A dust storm with gusty winds of 60-70 kmph blew across the city on Wednesday evening, bringing much needed relief from the heatwave witnessed over the past three days.

Traffic came to a standstill due to low visibility and strong winds. 

Motorcyclists were forced to park their vehicles and wait till the situation improved. 

There were reports of branches falling and hoardings being dislodged across the city. Flight operations were also hit due to the strong winds with nine flights being diverted between 6.40 p.m. and 7.15 p.m, an airport spokesperson said. 

The situation returned to normal by 7.45 p.m.

The Met Department said that temperature fell from about 40 degrees Celsius at 5 p.m. to around 33 degrees Celsius by 7 p.m. when the winds were at the peak. The weatherman had forecast that dust storms would hit the city in the evening on Wednesday and Thursday but said that the activity would be only in the evening and the days would continue to remain hot.

It was a hot and humid Friday morning in Delhi with the minimum temperature recorded a notch below the season’s average at 25.8 degrees Celsius. The Met Office has forecast dust storms ahead in the day.

The sky will turn partly cloudy with one or two spells of rain in the day, said an official of the India Meteorological Department.

High pollution levels in Delhi were mainly due to dust storms from Rajasthan, the Environment Ministry said after air quality in Delhi deteriorated beyond “severe” level on Wednesday and predicted that dusty conditions were likely to prevails over the next three days. 

Flight operations at the Delhi International Airport were suspended for around 35 minutes as a severe dust storm hit the city Wednesday evening, airport officials said.

“The dust storm hit the Delhi airport at 6.39 pm today. The last flight arrival at the Delhi airport was at 6.36 pm. The last departure at the airport was at 6.38 pm,” the officials said. Till 7.15 pm, total nine flights were diverted from the airport, they added.

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