Dust storm kills at least 91, injures over 160 in India

Aaron Brown
May 4, 2018

Forty-three people died there as the wind speed touched 130kms/h, said Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh state. UP and Rajasthan were worst hit with as many as 112 casualties reported, said The Times of India. Authorities fear that the number of people killed may increase as there is not yet complete information on damage in remote areas, DPA reported. Dozens have been injured in both states. Agra and Bharatpur districts share a border.

The regional weather office in Jaipur had issued a warning for dust storm, light rain and thunderstorm for Alwar, Banswara, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Dausa and Bhilwara.

The deadly dust storm that swept parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh which left over 100 dead was due to a cyclonic circulation over Haryana, weather experts said.

The storm damaged communities in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, where more than 400 people were injured as thunder pierced the sky and visibility plummeted.

The dust storm also hit the capital Delhi, more than 100km (62 miles) away, late on Wednesday evening.

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 unsafe weather is likely to strike the area. Satellite images have confirmed these fears, showing growing wind pressure in Rajasthan which could lead to another dust storm. The other storm-hit UP districts were Bijnor, Bareli, Saharanpur, Pilib-hit, Firozabad, Chitrako-ot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao.

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Officials said they had been taken aback by the ferocity of the storms. Agra was the most affected district in the state.

In Rajasthan, 33 more were killed, taking the combined death toll to 97. The worst period lasted about 45 minutes, according to reports from Dholpur in Rajasthan.

Houses, trees and electrical poles came crashing down as winds reached 130 kilometres per hour.

Similar storms kill hundreds of people each year in India, but these were some of the most severe in recent decades. I Express my deep condolences to the families of the victims.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said officials have been asked to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those affected in these incidents. Fifteen flights, including two worldwide, were diverted due to the bad weather.

More than 100 people were dead and at least 200 injured after dust storms and lightning strikes caused havoc in northern states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday and Thursday.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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