(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Heavy rain accompanied by a squall lashed the national capital and the suburbs of Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon yesterday, bringing relief to people from the intense heat of the past many days but also affecting traffic and flights.
The day began on a partly cloudy note, only to give way to a sunny sky. However, in the afternoon, the sky again turned dark and a massive dust storm followed by a thunderstorm hit the region. Some parts of Delhi witnessed a hailstorm as well.
The national capital received 4.8mm of rainfall till 5.30pm, the India Meteorological Department said
The strong gusts of wind and heavy rain uprooted trees and caused water-logging leading to traffic snarls in many parts of Delhi while a shanty collapsed in the slum clusters of Shakarpur in west Delhi and the roof of a house fell in north Delhi's Burari, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi said.
At least 16 flights - 13 domestic and three international - coming into Delhi were diverted due to the bad weather, sources at the Indira Gandhi International Airport said.
The situation was no better on the roads.
Traffic snarls were reported from south Delhi's Adhchini Marg, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Dhaula Kuan as well as ITO, Minto Road underpass, and Azad Market in central Delhi. The traffic was brought to a crawl at several other places including Karol Bagh in central Delhi, Lakshmi Nagar in east Delhi and on many stretches of Ring Road.
Several two-wheeler riders took refuge under flyovers and foot-over-bridges adding to the woes of motorists as the parked vehicles blocked a portion of the road.
However, yesterday being a holiday, popular hotspots like Connaught Place, India Gate, the three Dilli Haats along with the Delhi Zoo witnessed a rush of visitors who were eagerly awaiting showers for many days.
Sunidhi Batra, a college student at Central Park in Connaught Place said: "Thankfully, the heat is gone and I wish the rain continues through the weekend."
The sprawling lawns of India Gate were bustling with activity as people left the indoors for spontaneous picnics to make the most of a pleasant weather.
"The rainfall has brought a much awaited respite from the scorching heat. Therefore, we decided to come here with friends and family," Rubeen Malik, a resident of the walled city said as she savoured an ince-cream with her family at India Gate.
Private weather forecaster Skymet said the showers were pre-monsoon rains and will continue for the next couple of days.
"These are pre-monsoon showers caused due to two cyclonic circulations - over north Rajasthan and Pakistan, and Uttar Pradesh. The showers will continue in the region over the next couple of days," G P Sharma, chief of Skymet said.
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