Published on : Friday, May 4, 2018
The power supply has been down in many parts of the neighbouring districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. There are nearly 300 felled electrical lines can be seen in the roads. The trees have fallen, damaging electrical lines and homes.
The National Disaster Management Authority of India issued an alert giving a warning to the residents and the tourists of Uttar Pradesh for severe thunderstorms, hail, and squall. However, it does not seem that anyone was prepared for the harshness of yesterday’s dust storm which took the lives of more than 125 people.
In Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal, the death toll has reached 43, while at least 33 have perished in Rajasthan, although the death toll is expected to rise as more people are found beneath the rubble. T Ravi Kant, the district divisional commissioner explained that most of the deaths occurred after walls and roofs of houses collapsed in the middle of the night. The tourists are requested not to roam in the streets of Agra.
Yesterday’s storms had also affected three districts in neighbouring Rajasthan- Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur, which are the popular tourism attractions.
But it is unclear that the iconic landmark and tourist attraction, the Taj Mahal, suffered damage in the storm. In an April dust storm, winds reaching 80 mph damaged two minarets at entry gates to the 17th century mausoleum.
The Taj Mahal is one of the most significant tourist attractions in India. It is drawing more than 40000 visitors. The tomb is also the most iconic piece of Mughal architecture in India.
The experts say that reconstruction efforts from April’s storm had already begun on the Taj Mahal. However, they warn that rising pollution in Agra could cause more significant damage to the landmark in coming years.
Amid the destruction to life and property, another dust storm is expected in the next few days. Himanshu Sharma, a scientist with the Indian Meteorological Department told that there is a high probability that winds will intensify in the next 48 hours in Rajasthan, which may lead to another dust storm. He went on to explain that it will affect most of the areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan border, especially Karauli and Dholpur.
IMD warns that the storms have been caused by cyclonic circulation formation in the region. The satellite images have confirmed these fears, showing growing wind pressure in Rajasthan which could lead to another dust storm. The dust storms expected for this weekend are anticipated to reach further than Uttar Pradesh.