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Massive Indian dust storm kills more than 70, injures scores more

03 May 2018, 02:29 | Myrtle Vega

Dust storm, rains kill 50 in Uttar Pradesh, 27 in Rajasthan: Top updates

LIVE UPDATES At least 72 people killed in deadly dust storm UP Rajasthan badly affected

A powerful dust storm has killed 77 people and injured 143 more in north India.

Officials said trees and walls were brought down during the overnight storm, and the death toll may rise.

Major destruction was reported from Alwar where more than 100 trees were uprooted and fell on stationary vehicles and electric lines.

Thirty-six people died there as the wind speed reached 80 miles an hour, said Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh state.

Most of those who died were sleeping in their homes when their roofs collapsed in the storm. The power distribution company switched off electricity to prevent further damage.

Jaipur too observed a dust storm like other parts of the "Pink" state.

During the last 24 hours from 8:30 am on Wednesday, Pilani recorded 26 mm of rains, Bharatpur 20 mm, and traces of rains were seen in Bikaner.

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Hemant Gera, head of Rajasthan's Disaster Management and Relief Department said emergency services are on alert and that people should not sleep outdoors. Moreover, around 47 persons were injured and there was a loss of over 155 livestock.

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

Heavy rains and dust storm also lashed Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana. Reports suggest electricity and water supply has also been affected in Nainital, Haldwani and several other remote locations.

In the capital, New Delhi, there was less damage, but the storm also caused choking dust and rain there.

The state government has announced that families of the dead will receive 400,000 rupees (about $6,000; £4,400) as compensation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences and said the states have been offered help to deal with the crisis.

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, said officials were heading to affected areas to start relief work.



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