Squall kills 50 in UP, Bihar

Squall kills 50  in UP, Bihar

swirling danger: People brave a dust storm in Mathura,  Uttar Pradesh, on Friday. PTIAt least 34 people, including three children, were killed and many injured in Uttar Pradesh on Friday morning.

Though the rain came as a respite for the people from the sweltering heat, high velocity winds wreaked havoc on large parts of Uttar Pradesh, disrupting communication and transport.

A part of one of the three domes of the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi also came down crashing during the squall. No one was injured in the incident.

According to reports reaching here,  the eastern districts of Jaunpur, Ballia, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Mau and Chandauli recorded 17 deaths. In Jaunpur alone nine people, including three children, were killed. Five people were killed in Ferozabad, while Aligarh accounted for three deaths. One person was killed in Varanasi. Around 50 people were injured. They   were being treated in different hospitals.

Train movement in the Mughalsarai section of Eastern Railway was disrupted for several hours.  Vehicular traffic also came to a standstill in many places in the state.
Electric poles were uprooted in several parts of the state disrupting power supply in many areas, reports said. A woman was electrocuted in Ayodhya. The rain also damaged wheat crop.

The squall also caused extensive damage to mango crop in Lucknow and adjoining districts. The government has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed.

According to the Met Department, Moradabad has recorded the maximum rainfall of 7 cm, followed by Roorkie, Shikohabad and Hathras with 2 cm each. The Met office has forecast rain and thundershowers accompanied by squall at isolated places in all the divisions of the state.

At least 24 people were reportedly killed in different parts of Bihar on Friday. Bihar State Electricity Board sources said 21 towers of 220 KV and 11 towers of 132 KV have collapsed, incurring losses worth crores.

Storm and rain lashed Patna, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Champaran, Kaimur, Rohtas, Jehanabad and other places in central Bihar. Fourteen deaths were reported from Kaimur and Sasaram. The toll may go up.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced Rs 1.5 lakh each as compensation to the next of kin of those killed. Nitish also talked to Union Minister for Science and Technology Prithvi Raj Chauhan over the phone and requested him to send a team of experts to assess the damage.

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