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.