Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to arrive in Ahmedabad to take part in the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual general meeting, high velocity winds, accompanied by thundershowers and hailstorm, hit the city on Monday evening, uprooting 79 trees along the major roads of the city and affecting traffic. The worst-affected area was the road leading to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport where there was a heavy traffic movement due to arrival of African delegation and other national and international dignitaries to take part in the international summit that began here on Monday. Some vehicles were also reportedly damaged in the thunderstorm.
Around four to five trees got uprooted on the airport road, blocking traffic for some time before it was cleared. Several hoardings and banners, welcoming Prime Minster Modi and the African delegation, got damaged in the storm. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Mukesh Kumar said that teams were deputed at the airport to clear the roads of trees and hoardings ahead of PM’s visit. “Everything went smooth and as planned,” he said.
Trees also got uprooted along Arvind Mill Road and Ashok Mill Road. Maximum number of trees fell in the North zone (30), followed by Central zone (25), West zone (18) and East zone (four) and one each in South and New West zones. While places like Sardarnagar, Maninagar, Meghaninagar, Saijpur Boga, Kubernagar, Naroda and Viratnagar witnessed rain and hailstorm, it was sunny in other places. Areas like Naranpura, Paldi, Ambawadi, Vastrapur, Vasana and Vejalpur witnessed high velocity winds with heavy rain.
Despite witnessing thundershowers on Sunday evening, the temperature in Ahmedabad on Monday rose from 40.4 to 41.4 degree Celsius. Other places also reported a slight increase in the temperature from Sunday. Towns that recorded above 40 degree Celsius included Gandhinagar at 41.2 degree C, Idar at 41, Amreli at 41.5, Rajkot at 41.5 and Surendranagar at 42.3 degree C. Bhavnagar, Dwarka and Porbandar in Saurashtra recorded below 40 degree Celsius. Meteorological department said that the weather will be dry across the state on Tuesday, but thunderclouds may develop over Ahmedabad towards evening or night.