Rain and Dust Storms Kill At Least 91 in India

May 04, 2018, 00:43
Rain and Dust Storms Kill At Least 91 in India

"In most of these areas, the roofs collapsed or trees fell on the houses, or the walls collapsed injuring people".

Officials told IANS that the death toll could go up as full information on the extent of the tragedy was still pouring in.

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Disaster response commissioner Sanjay Kumar said the devastation is particularly strong in the northern Indian city of Agra, where the marble mausoleum Taj Mahal is located.

District Magistrate Agra Gaurav Dayal told India Today that most of the deaths took place in the rural areas of Agra district where the storm caused houses and walls to collapse. More than 140 people were injured.

A powerful dust storm has battered India overnight killing 98 people and leaving at least 143 injured.

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Almost 70 people died and dozens were injured in squalls and sandstorms in parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since Wednesday evening.

Three districts in Rajasthan, a state popular with tourists for its heritage palaces and colourful culture, were hit the hardest on Wednesday.

In east Rajasthan, apart from Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur, the department has warned dust storm/heat wave till Monday in Bhilwara and Bundi districts.

Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for 36 deaths and injuries to 35 others. Nine people died in Alwar and eight in Dholpur, officials said.

Charan Singh, a scientist at India Meteorological department, said winds of 132 km per hour hit Agra, while even in the capital Delhi there were gusts of 59 km per hour.

The 130 kmph storm mangled and destroyed electric and telephone poles.

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences and said officials are coordinating with governments to assist those affected.

Dust storms are common in this part of India during summer but loss of life on this scale is unusual.

He said that although the rescue team and the rescue team have been forced to serve to clear the debris and restore the electricity supply, they are still waiting for a detailed report on the disaster.

The state has announced that families of the deceased will each receive around $6,000.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officers to personally monitor the relief work and provide medical aid to affected.

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