Dust storms, rain hit northern states

New Delhi: Dust storms, rain and thunder lashed parts of northern India on May 8, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off homes in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district but striking with less fury in other places.
Normal life was disrupted in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi with the India Meteorological Department predicting more bad weather on May 9.
A severe storm, accompanied by hail and rain, hit Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh, while the higher reaches of the state experienced snowfall.
The hailstorm triggered traffic jams, snapped power supply, uprooted trees and blew off roofs in parts of Shimla district. Rain water flooded the main roads and entered some buildings in state capital.
In Rajasthan, a dust storm hit places in Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions and isolated areas in Jaipur, Ajmer and Kota regions.
Officials said no loss to life or major damage to property was reported till late evening.
The Met department said many parts of the state could again see a dust storm or thunderstorm in the next 24 hours..
Strong winds hit Ajmer, Jaipur, Sikar and nearby areas in the morning leaving trees uprooted and sign boards damaged.
Moderate to light rains occurred at places in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur and Ajmer divisions while the weather remained dry in other divisions, according to the Met department.
Parts of Delhi witnessed a dust storm coupled with a drizzle in the evening, with Met department keeping an eye on its progress.
Light to moderate rains lashed parts of Punjab and Haryana, including Chandigarh, leading to a sharp fall in temperature.
Ambala, Panchkula, Mohali and Patiala were also hit by rain in the two states.
The Met department today warned that thunderstorms and squalls with a wind speed of up to 70 kmph are “very likely” in Uttarakhand and parts of eastern India tomorrow, signalling that the freak weather phenomenon over northern India has moved eastward.
In an advisory, the department said thunderstorms with gusty winds are “very likely” in parts of Himachal Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
It said a similar weather pattern is likely to be witnessed in West Bengal, and in six of the seven northeastern states, except Mizoram.

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