Powerful dust and rain storm kills 14 people in northern India

A powerful dust and rain storm destroyed homes and downed power lines in northern India, killing at least 14 people, an official said May 10, 2018. A week earlier another unseasonable storm caused deaths and destruction in the same region.

The storm with of up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour swept western parts of Uttar Pradesh state on the night of May 9, toppling trees and demolishing numerous mud and brick homes, Avanish Awasthi, a state government official said, according to AP. Uprooted electric poles and downed wires caused several villages and towns to plunge into darkness. In addition to 14 deaths, the storms left 25 people were injured.

The storm also hit New Delhi and parts of northern Himachal Pradesh and western Rajasthan states, but with weaker winds and no immediate reports of casualties. The India Meteorological Department said the stormy conditions were subsiding in northern India.

On the night of May 9, four people died in Etawah district, three each in Mathura and Aligarh districts and one each in Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur and Firozabad towns in Uttar Pradesh state, Ujjawal Kumar, another state government official said.

A similar powerful dust storm and thundershowers a week ago left more than 127 people dead and another 200 injured in five Indian states. Seventy-three of them died in the worst-hit northern Uttar Pradesh state alone, AP told.

The monsoon season is nearly six weeks away in India.

N. N. Srivastava, another Uttar Pradesh state official, said the storms have affected the lives of more than 100 million residents who also lost cattle and crops. Schools and colleges were closed in several districts, he said.

Featured image credit: Jesse Wagstaff

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