At least 80 dead in 6 states in thunderstorms, lightning on Sunday; more storms likely
The western disturbance that is bringing moisture from Eurasian water bodies and north and northwest India will continue to affect the weather in this region till Tuesday.
As many as 80 people have been killed in five states due to thunderstorms and lightning strikes since Sunday, with Uttar Pradesh alone recording 51 deaths, the Home Ministry said on Monday.
UP officials said the toll in Uttar Pradesh later went up to 54. Officials in Bihar too confirmed six deaths due to lightning in the wee hours of Monday.
Bihar’s disaster management department confirmed two deaths in Saran district and one each in Patna, Darbhanga, Khagaria and Rohtas. Chief minister Nitish Kumar asked the disaster management department to provide ex gratia to the kin of the deceased.
Fourteen people died in West Bengal, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand, a ministry spokesperson said. Of the 136 people injured in lightning strikes and thunderstorms, 123 were from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Delhi and two from Uttarakhand.
Lightning strikes and thunderstorms hit 24 districts in Uttar Pradesh, six in West Bengal, three in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand, the spokesperson said. Dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
High-velocity winds uprooted trees and affected road, rail and air services last evening at a number of places in north India, including the national capital. Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said yesterday.
The India Meteorological Department said in its latest forecast the western disturbance that is bringing moisture from Eurasian water bodies and north and northwest India, including the hilly states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand, and in the plains of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, will continue to affect the weather in this region on Tuesday.
Some parts of the hilly northern states can expect hail and isolated areas of Rajasthan could witness dust storms on Monday and Tuesday.
Residents of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh can expect relief from strong, widespread thunderstorms by Wednesday but weaker thunderstorms, scattered rain and gusty winds may occur in some areas for the rest of the week.
In the south, Telangana, Rayalaseema, interior areas of south Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are likely to see thunderstorm activity on Monday. On Tuesday the thunderstorm activity will be restricted to Odisha and south interior Karnataka.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he had asked authorities to provide “all possible assistance” to the needy.
Trail of destruction
Storms are common at this time of the year, the beginning of the rainy season in South Asia, but the severity of the weather this year, and the human cost, have been unusual.
A spokesperson of the Union home ministry said 42 were killed in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand. The spokesperson added 83 people were injured in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in Delhi and two in Uttarakhand.
Twenty-four districts in Uttar Pradesh, six in West Bengal, three in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand were hit by the lightning and thunderstorms, the spokesperson added.
Prabhat Mohapatra, deputy special relief commissioner, told Reuters four people were killed in Odisha.
Dust storms and thunderstorms accompanied with high-velocity winds wreaked havoc on Sunday evening as they uprooted trees, knocked down power poles, grounded flights and disrupted trains across New Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh.
Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the met department said on Sunday.
The devastation comes over 12 days after storms hit Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400. Uttar Pradesh was the worst affected accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district in the western part of the state.
On May 9, several parts of Uttar Pradesh were struck by a severe storm that left 18 dead and 27 others injured.
(With agency inputs)
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