While most of the part of India is going through harsh summers, Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla and Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath and Badrinath got hit by severe hailstorm and have received fresh snowfall recently. Two days back, the India Meteorological Department issued thunderstorm and rain warning for several North-Indian states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Unfortunately, at least 124 people died and more than 300 were injured when dust storms hit five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, last week.
Adhering to this warning, the Delhi Government has closed all evening schools today as a precautionary measure and the Department of Education has issued a circular for the same. On Monday night, Delhi, Haryana and some other areas in northern India were hit by a dust storm. Then, on Tuesday morning, Shimla was hit by a heavy hailstorm and high mountains of Himachal Pradesh received fresh snowfall. The local weather office warned of more snow and rain accompanied by hailstorms, squalls and gusty winds in the state till Wednesday.
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Surprisingly, hundreds of pilgrims were left stranded after a fresh spell of snowfall in the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand. Among the struck people was former chief minister Harish Rawat. Snowfall of about five inches has been reported from Kedarnath, with Badrinath also receiving fresh snowfall of about two inches, covering the area. Hemkund and other hills in Uttarakhand have been receiving rainfall as the meteorological centre warned of rains and storm in the state.
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The Met Department had issued an alert that several parts of North India could witness thunderstorm and squall in the next two days. A senior DMRC official was quoted as saying, “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 the elevated section. If the 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.” As per weather department, the thunderstorm was triggered by high temperatures in northern India, western disturbance over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir and winds from the Bay of Bengal, resulting in a cyclonic circulation over Haryana which affected the neighbouring states.