After a dust storm hit the national capital early on Wednesday, Indian Meteorological Department has issued a warning for next 72 hours anticipating similar weather conditions across large parts of north India including Delhi.
According to the warning bulletin issued in the morning, "Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds (with speed 50-70 kms) very likely at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh."
To ensure minimum loss of life and property during the storm, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued directives to prepare for the situation.
NDMA has shared the do's and don'ts to prepare before, during and after thunderstorms, dust storms or squalls.
Do's and Don'ts for pre-disaster preparation for thunderstorms, dust storms or squalls:
1. Prepare an emergency kit for safety and survival
2. Keep your windows and doors closed
3. Secure your house, carry out repairs in advance, don’t leave sharp objects loose
4. Secure outside objects that could blow away and cause damage, eg: Furniture, bins, etc
5. Get rid of rotting trunks/broken tree branches that could fall and cause injury or damage
6. Monitor radio, TV, newspapers to get latest weather updates and warnings
7. Ensure children and pets are indoors
Do's and Don'ts during thunderstorms, dust storms or squalls:
1. Keep a watch on local weather updates and warnings
2. Stay indoors and off verandas and porches. Avoid all travel if possible
3. Unplug unnecessary electrical equipment (to isolate them from the main power supply which may conduct a power surge during a lightning storm). Don’t use corded telephones. Mobiles or cordless phones are safe
4. Avoid touching plumbing and electrical pipes. Do not use running water. Avoid taking a bath/shower. This is because lightning can travel along pipes
5. Stay away from structures with tin roofs/metal sheeting
6. Keep away from doors, windows, fireplaces, bath tubs, or any electrical charge conductors
7. Don’t take shelter near/under trees
8. Stay put if you are inside a car/bus/covered vehicle
9. Don’t use metallic objects, stay away from power/telephone lines
10. Get out of the water - pools, lakes, small boats - and take shelter immediately
Do's and Don'ts issued by NDMA after the thunderstorms, dust storms or squalls:
1. Stay away from storm-damaged areas
2. Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated information or instructions on weather and traffic updates
3. Help children, women, elderly and differently-abled
4. Stay away from fallen trees or power lines and report them to nearest tehsil/district HQ immediately
Wednesday's storm killed an 18-year-old man and injured 13 others. The Police Control Room (PCR) received 78 calls during the storm that started around 3 am.
As many as 59 calls about fallen trees, five calls about fallen electricity poles and 11 calls about hoardings/wall collapse were received by the PCR, police said. Also, four calls received were about damages to cars in the dust storm. Fourteen vehicles - 13 cars and a motorcycle - were damaged in it, the police said.
Meanwhile, the temperature in the morning was recorded at 25 degrees Celsius and generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle is expected, a MeT official said.