IMD issues thunderstorm alert in 13 states, 2 Union Territories; updates

Schools in Haryana to remain shut on May 7, 8
Thunderstorms accompanied by squall, hail and heavy rains are likely to occur in at least 13 states and two Union Territories across the country on Monday, the Home Ministry said.

Thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail are very likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh while thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds are very likely on Monday at isolated places in Uttarakhand and Punjab.

Heavy rains are likely on Monday at isolated places over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, a Home Ministry official said on Sunday quoting an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) advisory. Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds are very likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh.

Dust storm and thunderstorm are also likely at isolated places in West Rajasthan, the official said. At least 124 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured in five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning last week.

Thunderstorm warning: Schools in Haryana to remain shut on May 7, 8

The meteorological department has warned of thunderstorm accompanied with squall at isolated places in Haryana between May 7 and 8, following which the state government decided that all government and private schools will remain closed on these two days.

State Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma today said the decision to keep schools closed on May 7 and 8 has been taken in view of the MeT Department's warning. 

The weatherman has forecast thunderstorm with squall at isolated places in the state on May 7 and thunderstorm with squall and hail at some places on May 8.

In view of the warning, the Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Department, in an advisory, has suggested safety tips to be adopted in case of thunderstorms, dust storms and squall. A spokesperson of the department said there is no need to panic and people should follow the precautions, pay special attention to children and senior citizens. All departments have been directed to stay alert, he said.

7 injured, 200 houses collapsed in storm in Nadia

Seven persons were injured and about 200 houses were collapsed in a storm in Nadia district on Sunday, District Magistrate Sumit Gupta said. The storm with a speed of about 90 to 100 km per hour lashed places such as Ranaghat, Hanskhali and Krishnagar.

While seven persons were injured in house collapse or by uprooted trees, Gupta said. District administration sources said while 200 houses collapsed, 300 were partially damaged.

Sachin Pilot visits storm-hit families in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot on Sunday visited the families who suffered due to heavy storm in Dholpur and Bharatpur districts of the state. Terming the loss of the affected families "unfortunate", he said the government should provide assistance to them as soon as possible. Claiming that a device to receive warnings for extreme weather conditions was not functioning in the Meteorological department, the former Union minister demanded a probe into it.

Pilot also targeted the BJP government in the state by alleging that it had nothing to do with the pains of the people and claimed that the saffron party would be thrown out of power in the next election.

Dharmendra Pradhan seeks support for storm-hit Odisha farmers

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday requested Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to extend all possible support to the farmers affected by the untimely Nor'wester in Odisha.

In a letter to the Agriculture Minister, Pradhan sought his personal indulgence to facilitate assessment of the situation and active intervention to ensure that the farmers get the required support to help them overcome the situation.

He said that widespread loss of crops and life in many districts of Odisha have occurred as a result of the untimely Nor'wester (Kalabaishakhi) spell of rains and hailstorm which swept many parts of the state over the past few days.

Although crop loss assessment hasn't been done as yet, conservative estimates state that as a result of this calamity, standing crops worth thousands of acres have been damaged, he added.

The intensity of damage is pronounced in six districts of Bargarh, Jajpur, Sonepur, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj and Balasore.

"Some pockets in these districts are already in the bottom of the poverty pyramid and the natural disaster shall further add woes to the farmers barely living on subsistence income," he added.

Pradhan that the situation of distress has already forced farmers to take drastic steps and two farmers have attempted suicide.

"There is, thus an imperative, to ameliorate situation and assuage the distress of the farmers through urgent remedial measures," he said.

Rain leads to drop in temperatures in Himachal Pradesh

The mercury dropped by a few notches today as stormy weather conditions prevailed in several parts of Himachal Pradesh.

The MeT department here warned of thunderstorm accompanied by squall and hailstorm in the mid and lower hills on May 7 and 8. It predicted rains or thundershowers in the mid and lower hills and rains and snow in the higher hills till May 10.

The storm caused damage to standing wheat crop in the mid and higher hills and apple crops.

Shimla received 9 mm rainfall, followed by 7 mm in Kufri, 6 mm in Fagu, 5 mm in Jhandutta, 4 mm in Kalpa, 3 mm in Kandaghat, 2 mm in Dalhousie, Jhanjehli, Solan and Narkanda.

Minimum temperatures dropped by three to five degrees during past 24 hours and Keylong recorded a low of 3.7 degrees Celsius while Kalpa and Manali recorded the minimum temperatures at 4.6 degrees Celsius and 6.4 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Bhuntar recorded a minimum temperature of 12.5 degrees Celsius, 12.8 degrees Celsius in Shimla, 15.5 degrees Celsius in Solan, 15.8 degrees Celsius in Nahan, 15.9 degrees Celsius in Sundernagar, 18.5 degrees Celsius in Palampur, 19.5 degrees Celsius in Dharamshala and 22.6 degrees Celsius in Una.

Una in Shiwalik foothills was hottest with a maximum temperature of 35.6 degrees Celsius, followed by 29.2 degrees Celsius in Nahan, 29.1 degrees Celsius in Sundernagar, 25.6 degrees Celsius in Dharamshala, 25.3 degrees Celsius in Palampur, 21.6 degrees Celsius in Bhuntar, 21.0 degrees Celsius in Solan, 19.5 degrees Celsius in Shimla, 16.6 degrees Celsius in Manali, 12.2 degrees Celsius in Kalpa and 9.4 degrees Celsius in Keylong.

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