May 26, 2018

Scores of casualties after powerful storm hits north India

04 May 2018, 10:47 | Marta Robbins

India's MET dept. predicts thunderstorm for several states

LIVE UPDATES At least 72 people killed in deadly dust storm UP Rajasthan badly affected

These included three each in Bijnor and Kanpur Dehat, two each in Saharanpur, Hamirpur, Mirzapur and Kanpur city; and one each in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Chitrakoot, Rae Bareli, Unnao, Mathura, Amroha, Banda, Sitapur, Sambhal, Etawah, Allahabad and Rampur.

Dust clouds plunged swathes of north India into darkness as winds of more than 130 km per hour (80 miles per hour) brought down feeble mud houses and killed people where they slept. The storms also caused damage to private and public property, as many houses were left battered and trees uprooted.

Around 9 people, reportedly, killed in the neighboring Dholpur in the high-speed dust storm which began around 7 pm, on the yesterday night, and continued the havoc for nearly 2 hours. Electricity supply and telephone lines were snapped in parts of Uttar Pradesh state, Kumar said.

Agra district where the wind speeds touched 132kmph has reported 43 dead, the maximum number of casualties, officials said.

"Seventeen persons have died in Bharatpur, nine in Alwar and five in Dholpur district due to the dust storm", Kataria said.

The state government quickly released funds to compensate the families of those killed or for damage.

At least 160 animals also died in the storms, according to officials in Uttar Pradesh.

The MET department issued the warning even as the two north Indian states were reeling under the impact of a severe overnight dust storm that killed almost 100 people and left a trail of destruction.

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The Uttar Pradesh administration has begun an assessment of the loss caused to the standing crops across the state after the thunderstorm and rains.

"We are conducting post mortem to ascertain that they have died due to dust storm", said Kataria.

"Most of the 35 deaths and 205 injuries across our state were from three districts Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur", Gera said.

Yogi Adityanath announces compensation: The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has announced a compensation of up to Rs 400,000 to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for each of the injured in the heavy rainfall and storm across the state. "Overall, 22 districts (out of 75 were) were affected".

In Rajasthan, 33 more were killed, taking the combined death toll to 97.

The massive dust storm, which was accompanied by rain and lightning, resulted in the uprooting of trees, felling of electrical poles and damage to houses. In an April dust storm, wInds reaching 80 miles per hour damaged two minarets at entry gates to the 17th century mausoleum.

LEAD IMAGE: A man wraps a scarf around his nose as a dust storm envelops the city in New Delhi, India.

Vasundhara Raje, the chief minister of Rajasthan, condoled the deaths and she writes in a series of tweets that she has directed ministers and officials in the affected areas to start the relief work very soon.

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