What is thunderstorm? Here are do’s and don’ts to follow during dust storms, thunderstorms, squall 

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New Delhi | Updated: May 8, 2018 6:51:28 PM

India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday warned of thunderstorm along with squall and hail in a large part of northern and eastern India. The warning led to the closure of several public and private schools of Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

IMD issues thunder dust storm warning across India (Image: PTI)

India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday warned of thunderstorm along with squall and hail in a large part of northern and eastern India. The warning led to the closure of several public and private schools of Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. The thunderstorm will be accompanied by squall and hail, warned IMD.

The storm is very likely to hit isolated places over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Bihar, western Madhya Pradesh, parts of Uttar Pradesh, coastal and interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Warnings have also been issued in sub- Himalayan region of West Bengal and Sikkim. The wind speed might go up to 50-70 kilometres per hour, IMD said.

Delhi was hit by thunderstorm on Monday night. Last week, around 120 people were killed in thunderstorm, dust storms, and lightning across northern India. The National Disaster Management Authority has shared “dos and don’ts” of what one should do during and after the disaster. Delhi Metro too has decided to exercise caution due to warning. “If the wind speed reaches 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 elevated section. And if wind speed reaches 90 kmph then trains will be stopped at the platforms,” said a senior DMRC official.

Helpline number 108 has been open by IMD for government help if stuck in a thunderstorm. Assistance will be provided within an average of 18 minutes

What is a thunderstorm?

Thunderstorms are severe weather events associated with frequent lightning, high winds, and heavy rainfall. They can and do occur at any time of the year, but are most likely to happen during the afternoon and evening hours and during the spring and summer seasons. They are so called because of the thunderous loud noise they make because of thunder.

Indian Meteorological Department says thunderstorm is predicted in Northern India under the influence of a western disturbance, a cyclonic circulation over Haryana and a west-east tough from northwest Rajasthan to central Madhya Pradesh in lower levels.

Do’s and Don’ts during thunderstorms, dust storms, squall, according to NDMA

Before the Disaster

– Prepare an emergency kit with essential items for safety and survival
– Secure your house; carry out repairs; don’t leave sharp objects loose
– Secure outside objects that could blow away and cause damage
– Remove rotting trees/ broken branches that could fall and cause injury or damage
– Listen to radio, watch TV or read newspapers for weather updates and warnings

During the Disaster

– Keep a watch on local weather updates and warnings
– Try to stay indoors; stay off verandas
– Unplug all electrical equipment. Don’t use corded telephones
– Don’t touch plumbing and metal pipes. Do not use running water
– Stay away from structures with tin roofs/ metal sheets
– Don’t take shelter near/ under trees
– Stay put if you are inside a car/bus/covered vehicle
– Don’t use metal objects; stay away from power/ telephone lines
– Get out of water – pools, lakes, small boats or water bodies and take safe shelter immediately

After the Disaster

– Stay away from storm-damaged areas
– Listen to local radio/ TV stations for updated information or instructions on weather and traffic conditions
– Help children, women, elderly, and differently-abled

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