NEW DELHI: As many as 72 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Rajasthanas heavy rain and dust storms on Wednesday evening wreaked havoc in parts of the two states.
In Uttar Pradesh, the high-intensity dust storm left 45 people dead and 38 injured, Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told PTI in Lucknow. Agra in UP saw the highest casualties with 36 people, including children, losing their lives, mainly in houses collapses. Nine others lost their lives in other parts of the state including in Bijnaur, Saharanpur and Bareilly.
According to the meteorological department of the Indian Air Force’s Kheria base, on Wednesday night, as much as 48.2 mm rainfall was reported in Agra district between 8:45 pm to 11:30 pm. That was accompanied by 126 km/hr storm winds.
Rakesh Malpani, additional district magistrate of Agra said the administration will pay Rs 4 lakh each to victim’s family killed in the storm. UP chief minister Adityanath directed officers to personally monitor relief work and provide medical aid to the affected. He warned officers not to be lax.
27 die in Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, at least 27 persons died and more than a 100 were injured as strong winds and dust storms hit Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts, leaving a trail of destruction and uprooting hundreds of trees, also on Wednesday evening.
While nine people died in Bharatpur, mainly in building collapses, three were killed in Alwar, three in Bharatpur and two in Jhunjhunu. Two people died in Dholpur when the roof of a building collapsed, and three people were extricated from under the debris of a house in Mohan Colony and rushed to hospital for treatment.
Major destruction was reported from Alwar as the entire district plunged into darkness after the power department cut electricity supply when electricity poles fell snapping power cables. Incidents of fire, reported from Dholpur, added to the worries of district administration.
Several other incidents of destruction were reported from various parts of the state. A person who was travelling in a car died after a tree fell on the vehicle in Alwar city. Two others in the car suffered injuries. Police rushed to the spot and pulled the injured out from the damaged car after breaking the window.
Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera told PTI news agency in Jaipur that a detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service to clear debris and restore power supply. He said contigency funds have been released to the respective district administrations. And Rs 4 lakh will be given to family members of deceased, Rs 2 lakh to persons sustaining 60 per cent injuries and Rs 60,000 to people with 40 to 50 per cent injuries.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and said authorities concerned in the districts have been directed to ensure all possible help to victims. “Condolence for families who lost their loved ones,” she said on Twitter.