Huge dust storm, heavy rain in Delhi; Metro suspended

NEW DELHI: Delhi was hit by a huge storm on Friday at around 5.00 pm.

The dust storm soon turned into a full-fledged rainstorm, with high winds raging though the entire city.

The clouds accompanying the storm were so thick and dark that they blotted out the sun almost totally, leading to complete darkness at 5.00 pm and reducing visibility to near zero.

The Meteorological Department had predicted that a severe dust storm would hit Delhi and surrounding areas during the weekend.

Delhi witnessed the hottest day of the season Friday with the maximum temperature recorded at 43.7 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average.

The sudden change in weather followed a massive storm that darkened the sky early in the evening, felled trees and forced tens of thousands to run and take shelter.

"The storm was so strong that it caused a pillar to fall on a parked car," said Ranjana Narayan, a journalist.

Delhi Metro services were hit on two of its busiest lines: Yellow and Blue.

Passengers tweeted that they were asked to de-board from the trains at some stations after technical faults caused by the storm hit the services hard on both these lines, leaving hundreds stranded.

The Met Office said the minimum temperature was recorded at 29.1 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average.

The strong winds caused power failure and brought with it much needed rainfall to Delhi and the NCR regions that had been sweltering under the oppressive heat for the last five days, the India Today report said.

Other news agencies reported that many trees and electricity poles throughout the city had been uprooted.

Traffic jams have been reported from all over the national capital. Thankfully, there is no news of any casualty because of the storm.

Meanwhile, rediff.com reported that metro rail services had been stopped across the city and people have been asked to get off the trains.

At the airport, there were reports of flights being diverted.

The entire city is littered with broken tree branches and garbage.