Deadly dust storm kills 75 in North India

More than 75 people were killed and hundreds injured as a high-intensity dust storm followed by thunder showers hit several parts of western and northern India.

This is what we know so far about the damage caused by the storm:

• At least 42 people were killed in four districts of western Uttar Pradesh. Thirty six people were killed in Agra, three in Bijnore, two in Saharanpur and one in Bareilly.

• According to preliminary reports, 31 people died in Rajasthan. Sixteen people were killed in Bharatpur, nine in Dholpur, six in Alwar and one each in Jhunjhunu and Bikaner.

Vehicles overturned leading to many casualties. (HT)

• Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC) said at least two people were killed in Kumaon and few more injured in other parts after rains and thunderstorm lashed the hill state on Wednesday night.

• In Delhi, the dust storms caused traffic snarls across the city. Fifteen flights, including two international, were diverted due to the bad weather. 

Labourers work at Noida stadium amid a sudden heavy dust storm. (HT/Virendra Singh Gosain)

• Normal life was also hit in many places in Punjab and Haryana, including Chandigarh, on Wednesday after a high-velocity dust storm. Light to moderate rains also lashed many places.

• The Rajasthan government rushed the State Disaster Relief Force to affected districts and issued an alert. 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, said Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera.

• Bharatpur divisional commissioner Subir Kumar announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the families of the those killed in the dust storm from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

• The storm caused major destruction in Alwar where more than 100 trees were uprooted, many of which fell on stationary vehicles and snapped electricity cables. The power distribution company switched off electricity to prevent further damage.

• Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje condoled the deaths and said in a series of tweets that she has directed ministers and officials in the affected areas to begin relief work and restore utilities.

• Private schools in Alwar city are closed on Thursday.

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