Over 100 killed as storm lashes Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan

People clearing the road that was blocked by tree whick fell in the Wednesday night's massive storm, at Kheria Mod near Agra on Thursday
Standing mango crop in several orchards around Uttar Pradesh’s main growing belt of Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Muzzaffarnagar, Bareli, Rampur and Sitapur along with wheat in few pockets was damaged in massive dust storm that whipped through the state on Wednesday night.

The disaster which also struck neighboring Rajasthan killed over 100 people in a trail of destruction that brought down mud houses, uprooted trees and flattened crops.

In some places of Uttar Pradesh, orchard owners said almost half of standing mango crop was damaged, which could push up prices in the domestic market. 

Mango prices are already ruling high due to damage caused in earlier bouts of hailstorm and rain.

Among other rabi, there was no preliminary report of any largescale damage as most of it has already been harvested.

The dust storm that injured atleast 183 people snapped power lines and sent tin roofs and street hoardings flying in parts of eastern Rajasthan and the adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh.

The death toll this evening was 108. Seventy people were killed in UP and 83 injured. 

In Rajasthan, 38 died and another 100 were injured in the storm that hit the region around 7 pm.

The worst period lasted about 45 minutes, according to reports from Dholpur in Rajasthan. But the extent of the damage was known only this morning.

The Met department today predicted another dust storm in parts of Rajasthan and UP in the next 48 hours.

A Met official told PTI in Jaipur that his department had been issuing dust storm warnings for the past couple of days.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Additional Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra said the trigger for the storm was a cyclonic circulation over Haryana.

But also responsible were a western disturbance over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, and easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal.

In UP, Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for at least 43 deaths and injuries to 51 others, officials said.

Besides Agra, the other storm-hit UP districts were Bijnor, Bareli, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao.

In Rajasthan, Bharatpur district was the worst affected with 19 killed. Nine people died in Alwar and nine in Dholpur, officials said.

Two of those killed in Dholpur were from Agra in Uttar Pradesh.




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