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UP, Rajasthan Dust Storm Death Toll Reaches 109, More Than 150 Injured

04 May 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.

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.

Seventy-three people were killed in UP and 91 injured, officials said.

Numerous victims were killed when their houses collapsed after being struck by lightning.

More than 150 cattle and other animals were also killed across the state.

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The district of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, home of the Taj Mahal monument, was one of the areas worst hit.

In Punjab, Kumar Amit, deputy commissioner of Patiala district, told AFP that a wall collapsed killing two people.

Similar storms kill many people each year in India but this was one of the most severe in recent decades.

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.

For the first time in the state, a storm has been included under the category of natural disaster and funds to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore have been sanctioned for each district, Kataria said. Officials said power was being gradually restored. He abandoned the vehicle on a road, he said, and ran for his life. "Quick response teams have been deployed since last night".

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Authorities said they have been shocked by the ferocity of the storms. As phone connections have been severed, it was hard to contact the interiors. The power distribution company switched off electricity so that further damage will be prevented.

Both Bharatpur and Alwar were without power through the night.

In Rajasthan, Bharatpur district was the worst affected, with 19 deaths.

The National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department in a release has predicted that thunderstorm conditions in India will continue till May 7, although different regions will be impacted on different days.

Meanwhile, according to weather experts, a cyclonic circulation over Haryana was the trigger for the deadly dust storm that swept parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, estimating that the wind speed during the storm may have gone up to 100 kilometres per hour.

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According to a letter from regional Met Director J.P. Gupta to the Relief Commissioner, thunderstorms accompanied by gutsy winds were very likely in Gorakhpur, Ballia, Mau, Ghazipur, Ambedkarnagar, Sant Kabeernagar, Basti, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Gonda, Balrampur, Sharawasti, Sitapur, Bahraich, Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Pilibhit, Rampur, Bareilly, Budayun, Aligarh, Etah, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura, Noida, Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore and Baghpat.

UP, Rajasthan Dust Storm Death Toll Reaches 109, More Than 150 Injured