NEW DELHI, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The Indian capital was thrown into a huge mess Friday by a super-strong wind which swept through the city and its surrounding areas, killing at least nine, due to a disturbance in Pakistan.
Six people were killed in the capital by storm-associated incidents, while three others were killed in the nearby town of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, when the gale hit the area at around 17:00 p.m. local time.
At least three planes were damaged by the storm while over 20 flights, including four international flights, were forced to be diverted to other cities after failing to land in the dust- shrouded capital. Witnesses saw at least one Air India jumbo jet being pulled by vehicles on a highway north of Delhi.
Most areas in city plunged into darkness immediately after the storm as uprooted trees snapped electricity lines. Power cut and blackout lasted for hours until supply of power was restored by late night.
Traffics came to a standstill in many parts of the city, while trees fell and crushed vehicles, causing death or injuries.
The Delhi Metro was also hit by power cut with some trains full of passengers stranded in the tunnel for hours in the dark, causing panic in some spots of the underground transport system. Thousands of people were stranded outside Metro stations and on roads as traffic stopped under a darkened sky.
Delhi Police said six people died and 13 were injured in various areas of the city in accidents like falling of trees, collapse of walls and electrocution following the storm which was accompanied by winds at a speed of over 90 km/h, according to local newspaper Times of India online.
An 18-year-old woman died after an overhead power line fell at her when she was returning home from a nearby market in western Delhi. In another incident, a 20-year-old youth died after an iron sheet slit his neck and later hit his 51-year-old mother's head, leaving her injured in serious condition in east Delhi. A 24-year- old cab driver died when a tree fell on his car in central Delhi.
Meanwhile, a minor was among three persons killed in the district of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Meteorological department attributed the storm to western disturbance over Pakistan and said that similar weather conditions are likely to persist for over the next two days.
"The cumulonimbus (dense towering vertical cloud associated with thunderstorms) brings tall thunderstorms and dusty winds with a speed of over 92 km/h and are caused because of western disturbance, which is currently over Pakistan. The meeting of cold air and hot air on the Indo-Gangetic plains causes low pressure area and also lot of instability. This results in severe thunderstorm," Indian Meteorological Department director general L. S. Rathore told the media.