Why This Dust Storm in India Turned Deadly

May 04, 2018, 09:48
Why This Dust Storm in India Turned Deadly

A deadly storm, which hit the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Wednesday has killed at least 78 people and left over 200 people injured.

"Wind speeds of 60kmph can uproot small trees, while winds of about 90kmph can uproot big trees and electric poles", said Mrutyunjaya Mohapatra, a senior scientist at IMD, New Delhi.

The death toll is expected to rise after an overnight storm ravaged India's Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan states, leaving at least 100 dead and almost 250 injured.

According to Hemant Gera of the Rajasthan government's Disaster Management Department, the 36 deaths were reported in Rajasthan's eastern districts of Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur.

The dust storms battered some of India's most populous areas, including the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, where the world-famous Taj Mahal is located.

In the post of Prime Minister of India Narendra modi in Twitter is written: "Saddened by the losses due to sand storms in different parts of India".

A huge dust storm and lightning strikes killed at least 125 people across India which braced Thursday for more wild weather. Reports say 12,700 electricity polls were uprooted and 1,523 transformers damaged in the three districts. "Condolences to the bereaved families".

The death toll in the dust storm that swept through northern India on Wednesday night continued to increase throughout Thursday, reaching a total of 109 killed and more than 150 injured.

People were also killed in Muzaffaranagr, Saharanpur, Rae Bareilly, Kannauj, Pilibhit, Kanpur and other districts as houses caved in and walls and trees collpased. "May the injured recover soon", the PMO tweeted quoting Modi.

Gulab Chand Kataria, minister of Rajasthan, announced the next of kin of the dead will receive 4 lakh (6,000 USD) in compensation.

While dust storms in the summer, that are accompanied by strong winds are common in northern India - casualties are usually not so high. The Chief Minister has directed officers concerned to personally monitor relief operations and provide all necessary medical facilities to the affected.

The storm damaged communities in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, where more than 400 people were injured as thunder pierced the sky and visibility plummeted.

There were primarily four reasons that lead to the thunderstorm - excessive heating, availability of moisture, instability in the atmosphere and a trigger for the storm, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Additional Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra said.

The state government also rushed to the State Disaster Relief Force to exaggerated districts and also issued an alert.

State BJP president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey asked party workers and law makers to go to the affected villages and extend help to the victims.

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