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Dust storm: Death toll reaches 97, another storm likely in 48 hours

Dust storm: Death toll reaches 97, another storm likely in 48 hours

According to the latest reports from the BBC, the dust storms have already claimed the lives of at least 100 people, while CNN is reporting that over 110 lives have been lost.

The devastation was particularly severe Wednesday night in Agra, the northern Indian city where the white marble Taj Mahal is located.

More deaths were reported in remote areas too, taking the toll higher.

Strong storms are observed in the States of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the North-West of India. Uttar Pradesh was the worst hit with 73 deaths.

Officials said the deaths were likely to be due to vulnerability of structures such as poorly constructed houses or inadequate precautions by people exposed to the storms.

A storm barrelled through a swathe of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, killing at least 106 people in a trail of destruction that brought down mud houses, uprooted trees and flattened crops, officials said on Thursday. While the dust storm was felt in the Delhi NCR region as well, no damage was reported but 15 flights, including 2 global flights had to be diverted.

Lightning strikes and powerful dust storms across India have killed at least 116 people and injured more than 250, with warnings from meteorologists yesterday of more wild weather to come. At least 43 people were killed and 35 others injured in Agra. "All district magistrates have been issued directions in this regard", Sanjay Kumar, Relief Commissioner, told the media. Houses collapsed and trees and poles were uprooted in the storm that also led to power outages.

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Ten people were killed as heavy rains lashed Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.

"Seventeen persons have died in Bharatpur, nine in Alwar and five in Dholpur district due to the dust storm", Kataria said.

Scientist Charan Singh of the India Meteorological Department said winds of 132kmh hit Agra, while in the capital Delhi, there were winds of 59kmh. The damage done by dust storm in Bharatpur was huge as 138 persons suffered injuries, while in Dholpur 50 persons and in Alwar 17 persons received injuries, says, the state government's official figures.

Dust storms in the summer are a common feature in the arid, desert western India but the loss of life on this scale is unusual.

In different parts of Alwar, electricity supply got disrupted for more than 24 hours. "Condolences to the bereaved families".

Local governments of both the states have reportedly announced a compensation fund of 400,000 rupees for the families of the deceased.

'Have asked officials to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those who have been affected, ' he added.


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