Over 100 killed as storm lashes Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan

Over 100 killed as storm lashes Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan

Kerry Wise
May 4, 2018

While almost 100 people died in dust storms and lightning strikes in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan overnight, many more parts of country will witness thundershowers accompanied by gusty winds, the Met department warned on Thursday.

Power supply was cut off in many areas as the squall uprooted trees and snapped electricity cables. However, officials maintained that the death toll is not likely to increase further in all 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

"I've been in office for 20 years, and this is the worst I've seen", Hemant Gera, secretary for disaster management and relief in Rajasthan, told BBC News about the storm. Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for 36 deaths and injuries to 35 others, .

'Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India.

"The intensity of the storm was so high that trees were uprooted and fell on buildings flattening them". "Condolence for families who lost their loved ones", she said on Twitter.

Dust and rain storms hit northern India on Wednesday, with the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab most affected. "May the injured recover soon", the PMO tweeted, quoting Mr Modi.

According to the Met department, the consistent cyclonic formation could cause another dust storm in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the next two days.

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In Uttar Pradesh, "40 to 50" people were killed in sandstorms, State Revenue and Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told ANI. Indian Air Force's reported that 48.2 mm rainfall has been recorded in Agra district on May 2nd according to them between 8.45 pm to 11.30 pm with a speed 126 km/hr with thunder and wind storms.

And residents are bracing for another storm that's predicted to strike in a few days: The Indian Express reported early Thursday that Indian Meteorological Department scientist Himanshu Sharma warned another round of risky weather is likely to strike the area. While the dust storm was felt in the Delhi NCR region as well, no damage was reported but 15 flights, including 2 global flights had to be diverted.

Standing mango crop in several orchards around Uttar Pradesh's main growing belt of Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Muzzaffarnagar, Bareli, Rampur and Sitapur along with wheat in few pockets was damaged in massive dust storm that whipped through the state on Wednesday night.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed the district magistrates of the four districts to carry out relief and rescue operations immediately.

The state government said contingency funds have been released to district administrations.

State BJP president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey asked party workers and law makers to go to the affected villages and extend help to the victims. "We have not been able to restore communication with the people but the damage has been intense", the Relief Commissioner said.