Storm kills 38 in UP, Government issues warning for another gale

Dust storm, hail and lightning have claimed as many as 38 lives in the last 12 hours in Uttar Pradesh and at least 50 people have been injured when uprooted trees fell on houses

Photo courtesy: PTI
Photo courtesy: PTI

Biswajeet Banerjee

High speed storm uprooted trees, electric polls and hoardings overnight in Uttar Pradesh killing 38 people. Government has issued warning of another thunderstorm that may hit parts of this most populated state in next 24 hours.

Government spokesman Avnish Awasthi said that 50 people have been injured when uprooted trees fell on houses. “Thirty-eight of these injured are serious and are admitted to the state run hospitals,” Awasthi said on Monday. Majority of the 38 deaths have been reported from Kaasganj where 6 people died when a house collapsed followed by five each in Bareily and Barabanki, three each in Bulandshahar and Lakhimpur Khiri and two each in Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Pratapgarh and one death each has been reported from Etawah, Kannauj, Sambhal, Aligarh, Gautam budh Nagar, Budaun, Mirzapur, Jaunpur, Mathura and Shamli.In the temple town of Mathura a pilgrim from Maharashtra died when a tree fell on him.

In Bareilly, minaret of a mosque fell on people who were taking shelter in the courtyard killing five of them. Three others were injured in the incident. Another person died when flying debris of a hoarding hit him in Gautambudh Nagar. In Saharanpur one person was electrocuted. Awasthi said that 117 houses, majority of them huts in villages, have been damaged in the thunderstorm followed by rains.

“In Lakhimpur Khiri 80 houses have been damaged followed by 31 in Sambhal,” he said.“The winds which blew at the speed of 80 km per hour uprooted trees, electric polls, transmission towers and hoardings. Majority of the deaths have been reported when trees and towers fell on houses. Majority of the injured have received head injuries and have been referred to state run hospitals for specialized treatment,” Awasthi said.

The storm snapped electric supply as majority of the cities in western Uttar Pradesh went without electricity the whole night. “In some place electricity is restored while in other work is in progress,” he said. Rajesh Sharma, a senior official told this reporter that over 12 crore people have been affected by these thunderstorm as it affected 42 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The state with a population of over 21 crore has 75 districts. Sharma said that warning has been issued as another thunderstorm is expected to hit 25 districts in next 24 hours.

“Advisory has been issued asking people to move to safer places abandoning their mud walled houses. They have also been asked not to venture out during storm as flying debris or uprooted trees could cause them harm,” he said. The storm had severely affected road, rail and air traffic. Over a dozen flights from Lucknow to Delhi were either cancelled or delayed. Preetam Srivastava, whose father-in law came from Delhi last night said that flight which was to start at 5 pm from Delhi took off at11.45 pm. “The old man had to wait for over six hours in the airport waiting for the flight. There was no one to help him out,” Srivastava rues. Storm had stuck Uttar Pradesh last week too in which 73 people had died.

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