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Heavy rains, hail lash parts of Delhi; city traffic thrown out of gear

twitter-logoPTI | January 22, 2019 | Updated 18:02 IST

New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) Heavy rains and hail lashed many parts of the city Tuesday leading to waterlogging and throwing traffic out gear at major intersections. After overnight rainfall, heavy overcast conditions in the morning plunged the city into pitch darkness, before the heavens opened up again, causing inconvenience to commuters, office-goers and local residents. Fifteen trains were running late with an average delay of two to three hours. These included Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express, Malda-Delhi Junction Farakka Express and Mumbai Amritsar Express. The Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express was late by six hours, according to the Northern Railways. The rains also affected street traffic in Delhi as many important intersections faced waterlogging, affecting vehicular movement. Delhi Traffic Police officials said traffic was affected from Nigambodh Ghat towards Hanuman Mandir near Kashmere Gate in north Delhi and also from S S Marg towards Bhati Mines in south Delhi due to waterlogging. Obstruction in traffic from JLN Marg towards Kamla Market roundabout due to waterlogging and breakdown of two cluster buses was also reported. According to information provided by Delhi Traffic Police on its official Twitter handle, movement of traffic was disrupted at Karala Chowk, Malviya Nagar, Modi Mill flyover, and Azad Market underpass in the morning. Vehicles moved bumper-to-bumper on Narayana flyover and Defence Colony underpass (from Jangpura towards Lajpat Nagar) due to waterlogging. While unusual darkness and subsequent hail with rain in the morning caused unease among several people, many were amused and even took to Twitter to post pictures, with humour-laden words. "When 9AM is like this, it means its time to bunk officechool #DelhiRains," tweeted a user, Shashank Thakur, and shared a picture of a neighbourhood immersed in darkness. Another user, Himank Gupta, shared a picture of him holding pellets of hail in his hand and, posted: "You certainly can't expect your morning in Delhi to be like this... #DelhiRains #raining." Simran, another netizen, said: "This weather makes me want to bunk school but then I realize I am not in school anymore. I am not even in college anymore. This hurts #DelhiRains." According to a Meteorological (MeT) Department official, the Safdarjung observatory recorded 14.8 mm rainfall, Palam 22.8 mm rainfall, Lodhi Road 15 mm and Aya Nagar recorded 26.1 mm rainfall. "The minimum temperature was recorded at 12.5 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal," the official said. The humidity level was recorded at 100 per cent at 8.30 am. Incidentally, heavy rains drastically reduced the pollution level in the national capital, which recorded the best air quality this year Tuesday, authorities said. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was 133, which falls in the 'moderate' category. The weatherman has forecast rainfall throughout the day, with the mercury settling at 19 degrees Celsius. PTI TEAM KND KJ

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