Published on : Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The powerful storms demolished the houses, uprooting trees as winds turned the skies brown with dust and sand, officials said Monday. There will be more storms are expected in the region this week.
Less than two weeks ago, similar storms caused 134 deaths and injured another 400. The extreme weather comes amid withering summer heat and approaching monsoon rains.
Many of the recent deaths occurred when wind and falling trees caused buildings to collapse, leaving people buried in the wreckage. In the town of Bareilly, the minaret of a mosque fell on a group of people taking shelter in the courtyard, killing eight people. In another town, one man was killed when he was hit by a billboard that had been blown loose. The death toll increased to 80 after officials received updates from each of the states impacted by the storms.
J.P. Gupta, the meteorological office director for Uttar Pradesh said that the storms are not unusual at this time of the year and the wind speed was abnormal. There are more storms are in the forecast for the northern part of the country this week. They will also spread into eastern and southern India. On Sunday, winds reached speeds up to 68 miles per hour, officials said.
The trains and commuter rail lines were paused and dozens of flights were diverted from New Delhi’s international airport as the storm blew into the city.
At least 51 people were killed in sprawling Uttar Pradesh state, India’s most populous state with more than 210 million people, and 123 others were injured. A large swath of Uttar Pradesh was also without electricity overnight because of broken power lines.
Rajesh Sharma, a senior state official, estimated that more than 120 million people in the state had been affected in this dust storm.