Flights Delayed, Diverted At Delhi Airport After Heavy Rain

The weather department said this was the first moderate-intensity storm of this season for the national capital which has been reeling under unprecedented high temperatures for the past few weeks, crossing the 49-degree mark at one occasion.

Delhi customs seize 73 iPhone-13 from two passengers at airport
Air passengers wait outside the T-3 terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan 6, 2022. (PTI)

New Delhi: Heavy rains and thunderstorm on Monday brought much-needed respite to Delhiites from the lengthy spell of sweltering heat, but affected road and air traffic during the morning rush hours and disrupted power supply in many parts of the national capital.

The rains accompanied by strong winds also brought down houses and trees at some places, leaving at least eight people injured.

Waterlogging were also reported from several areas and eight vehicles parked on the roadside were damaged due to tree falling on them, officials said.

The weather department said this was the first moderate-intensity storm of this season for the national capital which has been reeling under unprecedented high temperatures for the past few weeks, crossing the 49-degree mark at one occasion.

Fire officials said eight people were injured in the incidents of house collapse reported from Jwalapuri, Gokalpuri, Shankar Road and Moti Nagar areas of the city. Weather department officials said the rain and thunderstorms caused a drastic fall in the minimum surface temperature Monday in Delhi which plummeted from 29 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius from 5.40 am to 7 am.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 17.2 degrees Celsius, nine notches below the season’s average while the maximum temperature was recorded at 31.5 degrees Celsius, eight notches below normal.

Delhi recorded the lowest minimum temperature for the month of May since May 1, 2004 when the temperature stood at 16.7 degrees Celsius.

The record for the lowest minimum temperature stands at 15.2 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on May 2, 1982. The strong winds uprooted trees at nearly 44 locations, according to data shared by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

In south Delhi’s New Moti Bagh, a tree collapsed on a car, but its occupants escaped unhurt. Officials said such incidents were reported from Delhi Cantonment and Dhaula Kuan areas also, but nobody was injured. There were reports of tree being uprooted in 13 spots in north zone, 10 in south zone, seven in west zone and 11 in Najfagarh zone, according to official data.

The gusty winds during the storm led to many instances of power disruption in the city mainly due to trees and branches falling on the overhead electricity lines and poles.

The power outages ranging from a few minutes to several hours were reported from different parts of the city, including Shalimar Bagh, Keshav Puram, Moti Nagar, Bawana, Narela, Mustafabad, Najafgarh, and Dwarka, said officials of power discoms.

“Heavy rains at multiple intervals with storm inflicted damages to the electrical network and caused repeated tripping, leading to disruption in power supply in Narela, Bawana, Badli, Mangolpuri, Kirari, Shalimar Bagh, Keshav Puram and Moti Nagar areas this morning,” said a spokesperson of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited. He said their team is working to restore the power line in a phased manner.

“Wet and swinging tree branches also touch the overhead cables causing short circuit, sparking and outages. Preventive shutdowns in such circumstances, particularly in waterlogged localities, were taken and most of the faults were rectified within half-an-hour,” said a discom official.

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Operations and maintenance teams of Delhi discoms were on a high-alert and in most cases, power supply was restored quickly, the official said. “It took a little longer than usual for restoring electricity supply in some areas as tree cutting and removal had to be undertaken by civic agencies,” he said.

Incidents of power outage were also reported from Motia Khan, Kundli, Nangloi, Paschim Vihar, Mukherjee Nagar, Badli, Mangolpuri, Kirari and Keshav Puram. The rains also caused waterlogging and subsequent traffic snarls on various stretches, including ITO, DND Flyway, Narsinghpur-Jaipur Road and near AIIMS.

Waterlogging was also reported from the Pul Prahladpur underpass, Narsinghpur on NH-48, Rao Tula Ram flyover in Vasant Vihar and other areas. Police said they received 62 PCR calls, as informed by the Communication Unit, about uprooted trees.

The airport authorities also cautioned people to contact the airline for updated flight details. “Due to the bad weather, flight operations at @DelhiAirport are affected. Passengers are requested to get in touch with the airline concerned for updated flight information. #BadWeather #Rain,” the Delhi Airport tweeted.

Various airlines like Indigo and Vistara also advised people to keep enough travel time in hand while commuting to airport.

“It’s pouring in #Delhi. Flight departures and arrivals are getting impacted. Keep enough travel time in hand while traveling to the airport,” IndiGo tweeted. “#TravelUpdate: Due to Bad Weather (Strong Winds) in Delhi Arrivals/Departures are likely to get impacted,” Vistara said in a tweet.

“Due to bad weather in Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights may get affected,” SpiceJet posted on the microblogging site.

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