New Delhi: At least 109 people have been killed since Wednesday evening in parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh after a high-intensity dust-storm damaged buildings and brought down trees and electric poles. Meanwhile, another dust storm may hit parts of UP and Rajasthan in the next 48 hours due to cyclonic circulation formation in the region, a MeT official said on Thursday.
The warning came even as the two north Indian states were reeling under the impact of a severe overnight dust storm that killed nearly 100 people and left a trail of destruction.
Thirty-three deaths were reported from Rajasthan, while 73 deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh so far, including 36 in Agra district alone. The UP government has reportedly sounded an alert for the next 48 hours.
Other districts affected were Bijnor, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao.
Three persons died in Bijnor, two in Saharanpur and one each in Bareilly, Chitrakoot, Raebareli and Unnao districts, he said.
"Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has spoken to Commissioner Agra division and directed him that relief be distributed by the evening and senior officers visit the injured in hospitals," Principal Secretary (Information) Avanish Awasthi said.
A number of houses collapsed and electricity poles and trees got uprooted as the severe dust storm swept Agra division. "We have sought a detailed report from the affected districts," the Relief Commissioner said, adding that 156 cattleheads also perished in the calamity. In Rajasthan, the Vasundhara Raje government declared a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the family of those killed. Tweeting condolence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had directed central officials to coordinate with respective state governments for relief work.
Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Have asked officials to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those who have been affected: PM — PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 3, 2018
The office of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is scheduled to campaign in poll-bound Karnataka, tweeted that he had asked officials to “personally” monitor relief work.
संबंधित जिलों के अधिकारी नुक़सान का आकलन करते हुए प्रभावितों को अविलंब मुआवज़ा प्रदान करें। राहत कार्यों में किसी प्रकार की शिथिलता बर्दाश्त नहीं की जाएगी: #UPCM श्री #YogiAdityanath — CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) May 3, 2018
Criticising the CM, the Congress questions his “absence in UP”.
“ऊत्तर प्रदेश की जनता चाहे रहे त्रस्त, मैं हूँ कर्नाटक चुनाव में जुमले घड़ने में व्यस्त।” आदित्यनाथ, ग़ैर हाज़िर मुख्य मंत्री, ऊत्तर प्रदेशhttps://t.co/BseiboCjJt — Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 3, 2018
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, too, has asked three ministers to monitor situation in three affected districts.
Shri Gulabchand Kataria ji shall be monitoring situation at Alwar, Shri Arun Chaturvedi ji in Dholpur; Shri Kalicharan Saraf in Bharatpur & Shri Surendrapal Singh ji in Jhunjhunu. The Govt. stands firmly with its people in this time. — Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) May 3, 2018
Secretary of Disaster Management and Relief Hemant Kumar Gera told PTI in Jaipur that nearly 100 were injured in the disaster.(Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com)
“A few are undergoing primary treatment while others were discharged. One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur," he said. 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.
At least three persons were killed and several others injured in a norwester that hit six districts of Odisha, an official said on Thursday. While two persons died when trees fell on them in Balasore and Bargarh districts, another died due to wall collapse in Mayurbhanj district during the squall on Wednesday night, Deputy Special Relief Commissioner Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra said.
Gera said contingency funds have been released to the respective district administration. He said 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.