64 killed after dust storm and rains lash Uttar Pradesh, Agra worst-hit
Thunderstorms and rains lashed four districts of western Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday night killing at least 64 people, including 43 in Agra, and injuring dozens, officials said on Thursday.
State government officials said three people were also killed in Bijnore, two in Saharanpur and one in Bareilly. Most people were killed in the rural areas of Agra district because of wall collapses, they added.
At least 26 people were also killed in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand after a heavy dust and thunderstorms, as well as rains, hit several parts of western and northern India on Wednesday.
Winds gushing at the speed of 130 kilometres tore apart hoardings and damaged weaker constructions all over Agra district.
The administration began a survey to assess the loss caused after the thunderstorm and rains after chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed the district magistrates to carry out relief and rescue operations immediately.
“We are in process of assessing the losses caused due to this weather disturbance and adequate measures are to follow for compensating the damage,” RK Malpani, the additional district magistrate for finance and revenue for Agra, said.
The power supply was affected in Agra after the thunderstorm hit the district at about 8pm on Wednesday. It was restored in a phased manner after the storm subsided but many areas were still without electricity on Thursday.
Sanchit Tyagi, the spokesperson for Agra division of North Central Railways, said train tracks were affected on the Agra-Delhi and Agra-Gwalior routes due to the falling of trees.
“Restoration work was undertaken at large scale and the tracks were restored later in the night. The disruption caused a delay in train movement and normalcy is awaited,” Tyagi added.
The Meteorological Centre at Lucknow issued a weather warning predicting “thunderstorms accompanied with gusty winds” at several places in the state till Saturday morning.
It said the districts of Gorakhpur, Ballia, Mau, Ghazipur, Ambedkarnagar, SK Nagar, Basti, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Siddarthnagar, Gonda, Balrampur, Shrawasti, Sitapur, Bahraich, Kher, Badaun, Aligarh, Etah, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura, GB Nagar, Bulandsahar, Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore and Baghpat are likely to be affected.
It also said that rain or thunderstorm are “very likely at isolated places” in the state till Saturday.
More than 15 people were also killed mostly in rural areas and there was a large scale damage to crops standing of wheat in an overnight thunderstorm in Agra on April 11. The Taj Mahal’s royal and southern gates suffered minor damages in the thunderstorm.
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