By Kyle James  |  05-03-2018   News
Photo credit: @PagalAnna | Twitter

A very severe dust storm swept through the northern Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh Wednesday killing 77 and injuring scores more. The fierce dust and thunderstorms knocked out electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed homes, and killed livestock.

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Photos?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Photos</a> | 77 killed, hundreds injured after dust storm sweeps north India <a href="https://t.co/k6semxdEzy">https://t.co/k6semxdEzy</a> <a href="https://t.co/P2gkqRaNFq">pic.twitter.com/P2gkqRaNFq</a></p>&mdash; Hindustan Times (@htTweets) <a href="https://twitter.com/htTweets/status/991952014954266625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Many of the victims were sleeping when their homes collapsed due to intense bursts of lightning strikes. Dust storms of this nature are commonplace for this time of year in northern India but the loss of life as a result of this latest storm is unprecedented. The three districts that were struck the worst are Rajasthan - Alwar, Bharatpur, and Dholpur. Officials say Alwar was hit the hardest with at least 31 killed and several schools in the district were forced to close.

Hemant Gera, secretary for disaster management and relief in Rajasthan said, "I've been in office for 20 years and this is the worst I've seen. We had a high-intensity dust storm on 11 April - 19 people died then - but this time it struck during the night so many people sleeping and couldn't get out of their houses when mud walls collapsed." Gera confirmed crews are working to restore power after about 200 to 300 electricity poles were downed by the storm.

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Photos?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Photos</a> | 77 killed, hundreds injured after dust storm sweeps north India <a href="https://t.co/k6semxdEzy">https://t.co/k6semxdEzy</a> <a href="https://t.co/P2gkqRaNFq">pic.twitter.com/P2gkqRaNFq</a></p>&mdash; Hindustan Times (@htTweets) <a href="https://twitter.com/htTweets/status/991952014954266625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Have directed Ministers and concerned officials to affected areas to begin relief work immediately and restore utilities. An unfortunate incident, we have been working closely with local authorities to mitigate the situation.</p>&mdash; Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) <a href="https://twitter.com/VasundharaBJP/status/991893621006839808?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Vasundhara Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, said relief efforts are already underway and officials are heading to the affected areas. The state government informed families of the dead that they will receive 400,000 rupees as compensation, equivalent to about $6,000 or £4,400. The neighboring town of Uttar Pradesh lost 45 people with 36 of them in the Agra district but officials expect those numbers to rise. Many of the victims died from falling trees and walls and the storm was felt all the way in the capital Delhi over 62 miles away.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">At least 70 people are killed, over 125 injured in deadly dust storm, high-intensity squall and thundershowers in Northern and Westers parts of India. 45 believed dead, 38 injured in Uttar Pradesh, at least 25 dead, over 100 injured in Rajasthan <a href="https://t.co/XzWx1q9Mzv">pic.twitter.com/XzWx1q9Mzv</a></p>&mdash; DeshGujarat (@DeshGujarat) <a href="https://twitter.com/DeshGujarat/status/991956408265408512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43987209

Twitter: #India #Delhi #UttarPradesh #Rajasthan #Duststorm #NaturalDisaster
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