Dust storms, rain and thunder hit parts of northern India today, leaving at least 100 animals dead in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off homes in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla, but striking with less fury in other places.
Normal life was disrupted in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting more bad weather tomorrow.
In Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri, hailstorm preceded by heavy rains hit Thanamandi area in the evening, prompting authorities to launch a massive rescue operation, a senior official said.
Rajouri District Development Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said there was no immediate report of loss of human life but over 110 small animals, mostly sheep and goats, perished.
Choudhary, who is supervising the rescue operation, said 10 families of nomadic Bakerwal community, all residents of Androoth village who were on move to higher reaches, were trapped in the hailstorm and suffered the losses of their livestock.
An immediate amount of Rs 3 lakh was sanctioned for assistance to affected families, he said. A massive rescue operation was going on," he said, adding hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the road due to accumulation of debris.
A severe storm, accompanied by hail and rain, hit Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh, while the higher reaches of the state experienced snowfall.
The hailstorm triggered traffic jams, snapped power supply, uprooted trees and blew off roofs in parts of Shimla district. Rain water flooded the main roads and entered some buildings in state capital.
In Rajasthan, a dust storm hit places in Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions and isolated areas in Jaipur, Ajmer and Kota regions.
Officials said no loss to life or major damage to property was reported till late evening. -- PTI