As the dusty Yamuna floodplain turned to slush, it made walking virtually impossible and vehicles got stuck. Those who were already inside ran for cover to escape the downpour.

Organisers wore a look of concern as the skies darkened over Delhi. The dark clouds along with rolling thunder followed by heavy rains left the organisers, participants and the onlookers drenched and miserable.

People were seen covering themselves with plastic sheets. Some others took out brightly coloured umbrellas. "It is slippery. The road leading to the venue has turned marshy. I had to walk carefully," said Anuj Kumar, who had come from north Delhi to attend the cultural jamboree.

Policemen and volunteers tried to manage the crowd, but could not control the chaos. As per the forecast of two leading weather agencies, the IMD and Skymet Weather Services, the showers followed by heavy rain may cause disruptions on Saturday and Sunday as well.

The World Culture Festival is being held here from March 11 to 13. These agencies told reporters that rain with thundershowers would continue over the weekend.

"Tomorrow (Saturday) and the day after that, there are fair chances that it would rain in the early morning, late afternoon and evening, with strong winds and thundershowers. It may spoil the event," said Mahesh Palawat, director of Skymet, India's only private weather forecasting agency.

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