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Heatwave, storms kill 88

The heat wave sweeping across western, northern and central India claimed 55 lives while lightning and storm killed 13 in the east during the past 48 hours.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondents, Jaipur/nagpur/lucknow/kolkata/bhubaneswar
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2010 12:42 AM IST

The heat wave sweeping across western, northern and central India claimed 55 lives while lightning and storm killed 13 in the east during the past 48 hours.

The death toll in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra mounted to 43 with 11 persons succumbing to heatstroke on Tuesday. Reports of these deaths came from Nagpur, Buldhana, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Amravati and Gadchiroli districts.

Coal-yielding Chandrapur in eastern Vidarbha was the hottest at 48.3°C. The Gandhi district Wardha recorded 48°C while Nagpur had a high of 47.2°C on Tuesday.

Rajasthan, on the other hand, clocked 22 on the heat-induced death meter. Eight died at Hadoti followed by four in Jodhpur, three in Jaipur and two in Jaisalmer. One each died at Nagaur, Sikar, Udaipur, Ajmer and Chittorgarh. The maximum temperature at most places in Rajasthan was above 45°C.

Ganganagar roasted at 48.1°C while Jaipur recorded 44.7°C.

The heat wave spared humans in Uttar Pradesh, but it claimed at least 20 peacocks in Etawah and Kannauj districts that sweltered at over 45°C.

In eastern India, thunderstorm and lightning played the villain. While thunderstorm claimed at least eight in Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Bargarh districts of Orissa, lightning took five lives in Malda district of West Bengal.

The thunderstorm victims included four schoolboys, aged between six and 11. They were killed in Sundergarh district’s Bisra area, 430 km west of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar.

Lightnings were part of Malda’s weather worry. “Lightning killed three in Ratua-I and Ratua-II blocks and two in Old Malda block,” said Malda district magistrate Sridhar Ghose.

The accompanying storm hit power supply, telephone and internet services and damaged mango crop.

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