Govt issues fresh storm warning for Bengal, Odisha, UP and Bihar
The government on Friday issued a fresh warning for thunderstorms in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh even as several states continued relief work in the aftermath of Wednesday’s powerful dust storm that left more than 100 people dead.
The home ministry put the toll from the thunderstorm and lightning in several north and west Indian states at 124.
The Met department also issued an alert about likely storms in several areas. “Thunder storm activity is common in this weather. Certain meteorological conditions favour severity of the storms, right now conditions are favourable. North-west and north east region and southern peninsular area are expected to see thunder storm activity,” the department said.
A chain of powerful thunderstorms, a freak pre-monsoon phenomenon that experts blamed on a confluence of various weather factors, pounded parts of north and north-west India leaving a trail of destruction in at least six states.
Hundreds more were injured in the storms that packed windspeeds of up to 130 km per hour, and wrecked mud houses, damaged crops, uprooted trees and electricity pylons, cutting off power supplies and disrupting train traffic in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
Western Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring eastern Rajasthan bore the brunt of the storms.
A cyclonic circulation, induced by a western atmospheric disturbance, high moisture levels brought by easterly winds and a recent spell of unusually high temperatures that soared to 45 degrees Celsius were responsible for the thunderstorms, Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said.