Dust Storm, rains claim 27 lives in Rajasthan

Dust Storm, rains claim 27 lives in Rajasthan

A dust storm approaches the city of Bikaner. PTI photo.

Around Twenty seven people were killed and several others injured after a powerful dust storm swept through Rajasthan late on Wednesday night.

Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur districts, were the worst-affected in the dust storm. The intense storm and lightning led to houses collapsing, trees being uprooted and power connections snapping.  Authorities fear that the number of people who have died may go up. 

Most of the victims were sleeping in their homes as their roofs collapsed in the storm. According to officials, 40-45 mud huts were burnt after lighting struck a village in Dholpur district. The maximum damage was caused in Bharatpur district where 12 deaths have been reported. 

Whereas Alwar district has been without electricity after electric poles were damaged by falling trees. Alwar district collector Rajan Vishal said, “Six people have died so far due to the dust storm. Health department officials, including doctors, power department and district administration officials are on the toes".

The Disaster Management and Relief secretary Hemant Gera said, "The dust storm has been declared a disaster under the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) norms. Teams have been sent to Bharatpur, Alwar and Dholpur". He also announced an immediate relief of Rs. 4,300 each to those admitted in hospitals and Rs. 4 lakhs to the dead.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has asked officers in the affected districts to provide help to the injured. Raje tweeted this morning, "Distressed after storm in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur. I have asked the concerned district authorities to ensure every possible help to treat all the injured. My condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives". 

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot also expressed his sadness and cancelled his birthday celebrations slated on Thursday.