Lucknow/Jaipur: A severe dust storm followed by thunder showers wreaked havoc in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan overnight, killing about 100 people and leaving a trail of destruction. Reports said about 150 animals have also died due to the nature's fury.
In Uttar Pradesh, the dust storm left 64 people dead and 47 injured. Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for 36 deaths and injuries to 35 others, officials said.
In Rajasthan, 33 were killed, taking the combined death toll to 97. About 100 people were injured in the state. In Rajasthan, Dholpur district was the worst affected with 17 killed. Two of those killed in Dholpur were from Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides Agra, the other affected UP districts were Bijnor, Bareli, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao. "A few people are undergoing primary treatment while others were discharged. One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur," Hemant Kumar Gera, Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, said.
The Relief Commissioner while confirming that at least 156 animals have also died due to the calamity in Uttar Pradesh, said, "We have sought a detailed report from the affected districts."
The intense storm and lightning uprooted trees, snapped power cables and led to the collapse of many thatched houses. Most of the people who died, were sleeping when their roofs collapsed in the storm. The storm swept across Delhi too, but no loss or damages have been reported from the national capital.
More thunderstorms and strong winds are expected in Uttar Pradesh over the next two days. especially in the northern parts of the state, met officials have said.
"There is a high probability that winds will intensify in the next 48 hours in Rajasthan, which may lead to another dust storm. It will affect areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan border, especially Karauli and Dholpur," Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist Himanshu Sharma was quoted by PTI.
Satellite images have shown wind pressure developing in parts of Rajasthan, which may lead to high-intensity winds and dust storm.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan minister Gulab Chand Kataria has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to next of kin of those who died due to the severe dust storm.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officers to personally monitor the relief work and provide medical aid to affected. He also announced compensation of up to Rs.4 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs.50,000 for each of the injured.
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