Dust storm and lightning kill 19 in Uttar Pradesh
A severe dust storm and lightning in various parts of Uttar Pradesh claimed 19 lives and left 48 people injured as houses and walls collapsed and trees were uprooted, prompting authorities to launch relief operations on a large scale on Friday.
Mainpuri district bore the brunt of the storm on Thursday night. Six people died there in separate cases of wall collapse and lightning, the state relief commissioner said.
Forty-one people were injured in Mainpuri district, where uprooted trees blocked vehicle movement on the state highways leading to massive jams for a considerable amount of time.
The police said most of the injuries occurred when people sleeping inside their mud houses were caught unawares by the thunderstorm accompanied by showers that led to the wall collapse.
Signboards and hoardings got uprooted in several places and fell on people on the ground, causing injuries.
'While six people died in Mainpuri, three each died in Etah and Kasganj, and one each in Moradabad, Badaun, Pilibhit, Mathura, Kannauj, Sambhal and Ghaziabad,' data released by the state relief commissioner said.
Eight cattle also died, officials said.
Power cuts were reported from various parts of the state and electricity lines got snapped in the gale. State capital Lucknow too experienced frequent power cuts Thursday night.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to take all necessary measures to provide relief to the affected people. 'He has directed ministers in charge of districts concerned to oversee relief operations,' principal secretary, information, Awanish Awasthi, said.