Dust storm kills over 100 in UP, Rajasthan

Dust storm kills over 100 in UP, Rajasthan

Over 100 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in a massive dust storm on Wednesday night. The storm also left a trail of destruction.

Over 100 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in a massive dust storm on Wednesday night. The storm also left a trail of destruction.

In UP, the storm killed 70 people and injured hundreds. In Rajasthan, around 35 people died and over 200 were injured in the storm.

The MeT office has warned of more storms in the coming days.

According to the official sources in Lucknow on Thursday, the death toll could go up as many of the injured were reported to be in a critical condition.

In UP, the worst affected district was Agra, where 46 people, including women and children, were killed. Sources said that over two dozen people were injured in the storm and were admitted to hospital.

Deaths were also reported from Bijnore, Sambhal, Saharanpur, Raebareli, Kanpur Dehat, Mathura and other districts, sources said.

Officials here said that hundreds of livestock were also killed in the dust storm, that caught the people unawares as they were in their beds, which it hit.

Most of the deaths occurred, when houses collapsed crushing the inmates under the debris, sources said.

The storm caused massive destruction of the standing wheat crop. The wheat crop. which was ready to be harvested, was flattened. 

The storm also uprooted trees and electric poles disrupting the supply of power in many areas in the affected districts.

Roads were blocked at many places after trees fell on the roads. It also adversely affected the air traffic as many of the flights had to be either cancelled or diverted.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who was campaigning in Karnataka Assembly elections, announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased.

Around 35 people died and over 200 got injured in the storm. The eastern part of Rajasthan — Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur districts — were the worst affected. The storm and lightning led to houses collapsing, trees being uprooted and power connections snapping. 

Most of those who died were sleeping when their roofs collapsed in the storm. As per the official figures, around 17 people were killed in Bharatpur, 9 in Dholpur and 9 in Alwar districts of Rajasthan. Around 100 farm animals perished.

40-45 mud huts were burnt after lighting struck a village in Dholpur district. The maximum damage was reported from Bharatpur district. Alwar district has been without electricity since 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”.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria offered Rs 4 lakh ex gratia for the family of the victims who died in a dust storm but that they should belong to Rajasthan. However, out of the six persons who died in Dholpur, two belong to Agra. Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma criticising the statement, told DH, “He should know what to speak. At the times like this, we need to stand firm there is no point in make a difference among the victims on the basis of land they belong to,” Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma told DH.