The Delhi government has decided to partially close down schools on Tuesday and Haryana cancelled leaves of officials in municipalities after a weather department forecast warned of thunderstorms and squall in several parts of northern and eastern India.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday thunderstorm, accompanied by squall and hail, was very likely at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on May 8.
Such weather conditions are likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim. At some places, the wind speed may go up to 50-70 kilometers per hour, it said.
The weather department has forecast inclement weather conditions at some places ever since at least 124 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning last week.
“In the light of inputs from State Disaster Management Authority, it has been decided that government, government-aided & recognised unaided school under directorate of education running in evening/IInd shift shall remain closed on May 8 as a precautionary measure,” a Delhi government circular said.
“Other schools are also advised to not hold outdoor activities/extra-curricular activities during the above said time period (from 3pm to 7pm).”
The government also issued a list of “dos and don’ts”, and decided to put search and rescue teams on standby.
The revenue department of the Delhi government has issued directions to all district officers and said water and power utilities would also keep restoration teams ready .
The traffic police has asked commuters to check weather conditions before travelling while the Delhi Metro too has decided to exercise extreme caution in running of trains in the wake of the warning.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which operates trains in the national capital and NCR, said it would exercise extreme caution in running of trains.
“If wind speed is reported in the range of 70-90 kmph then train movement will remain normal but trains will enter with a restricted speed of 40 kmph or less at the platforms on elevated section.
“If wind speed is reported more than 90 kmph then trains will be put on hold at platforms and no train will enter platform with a speed of more than 15 kmph,” a senior DMRC official told PTI.
At the same time, the Delhi Traffic Police has advised commuters to plan their journey after checking the weather conditions. It has alerted the field formations to be ready to get obstacles such as fallen trees removed. The advisory has asked commuters to avoid travelling during the storm.
The Haryana government has cancelled leave of all officials in civic bodies across the state, in view of the IMD issuing an alert forecasting thunderstorm and squall tomorrow in several parts of north India.
Fire and other emergency services, too, have been directed to remain alert.
According to the IMD, thunderstorm, accompanied with gusty winds, is very likely at isolated places over Punjab, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, Bihar, western Madhya Pradesh, east Uttar Pradesh and East Rajasthan, Coastal and South Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Heavy rains were very likely at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, south interior Karnataka and Kerala.