Freak storm kills seven people in Rajasthan
Seven persons were killed in Rajasthan on Tuesday when a freak storm left a trail of death and destruction across the state, damaging houses, uprooting trees and electricity poles and disrupting power supply in many districts.
While many parts were hit by a massive sand storm followed by thunder squalls, there are also reports of hailstorm in some parts of the state where unseasonal rains in March had left many dead and damaged standing crops, triggering one of the worst agrarian crisis in Rajasthan.
Officials said rains accompanied by high velocity winds hit Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Alwar Jaipur, Bharatpur, and Jaisalmer districts in the afternoon.
Hailstorms were reported from Bikaner, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Bharatpur districts.
The storm, however, brought the searing heat several notches down.
Five persons were killed and 10 others injured in Bharatpur district in the rain and hailstorm, district collector Ravi Jain said. Two persons were killed in Bikaner.
A labourer was killed in a factory collapse in the Nal area of Bikaner, police said, while six others were injured.
The government has announced Rs 4 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased.
The Met department said the sudden change in weather was caused by a movement of spiral winds over north-west Rajasthan as well as high pressure gradient and heat.
The weatherman also warned of more rain and hail in the next 24 hours.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.
Tricity residents woke up to heavy rainfall for the second time this month on Wednesday. Three people went missing after a taxi, shuttling two commuters, was swept away in a flashflood in the Patiala-Ki-Rao rivulet as the driver attempted to cross the causeway in Tanda Village near Nayagaon. The owner of the vehicle, Rakesh Kumar told the police that Gaurav had called him saying two people, travelling to Baddi, had booked his cab.
Chandigarh received 97mm rainfall between 6am and 8.30am, the heaviest rain in July since 2017, as per the India Meteorological Department. It received another 0.9mm of rainfall during the day. The maximum precipitation till 8.30am was recorded at the Sector 39 observatory (97mm), 49.2mm rain was recorded at the airport observatory, 77.5mm rain in Panchkula and 74.5 mm rain in Mohali.