64 in Uttar Pradesh die in storm; 43 dead in Agra alone

64 people were killed as a storm which saw winds with velocity of over 130 km per hour swept Uttar Pradesh; 43 of the dead were in Agra alone; The Met Office issued further weather warnings on May 3

PTI photo
PTI photo

Biswajeet Banerjee

A storm, accompanied by lightning and hail, which saw winds with velocity of over 130 km per hour, swept Uttar Pradesh on May 2 evening, uprooting trees and smashing houses. The storm left 64 people dead; most were killed by falling trees and collapsing buildings, officials said. The devastation was particularly severe in Agra, city of the Taj, where 43 people died.

Relief commissioner Sanjay Kumar said 38 others were injured in the high velocity storm. “Among the 38 injured 35 are from Agra which faced the brunt of the storm,” Kumar said. The injured have been admitted to the state-run hospital where condition of 17 people is stated to be serious.

He said it is not clear as how many people died of house collapse or lightning as reports are still being collected. But there are reports that some people died of lightning strike too, he said.

Besides human loss, 156 cattle also perished in the storm as trees fell on cattle sheds.

“The intensity of the storm was so high that trees were uprooted and fell on buildings flattening them. People who were inside the house died instantly. In villages, walls of the mud houses collapsed, killing the dwellers,” the official said.

The strong storm, which blew at the rate of almost 130 km per hour had mangled and destroyed electric and telephone poles. “We are not able to restore communication with the people.  But the damage is intense,” Kumar said.

Director Met Department JP Gupta said that due to western disturbances high velocity winds swept across Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Haryana. Heavy rains are also reported from some of these areas. Rains are likely to continue in Uttarakhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh in next 24 hour, he said.

Government spokesman Avnish Awasthi said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to carry out relief and rescue operation on a war footing and shift people of the ravaged areas to safer places.

He has announced a compensation of ₹4 lakh for the family of the deceased and ₹50,000 to the injured. BJP state president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey has also asked party workers and law makers to go to the affected villages and extend help to the people.

The Lucknow Met Office on May 3 issued further weather warning till May 5 morning, warning of thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds very likely in some areas in the districts of Gorakhpur, Ballia, Mau, Ghazipur, Ambedkarnagar, SK Nagar, Basti, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Siddarthnagar, Gonda, Balrampur, Shrawasti, Sitapur, Bahraich, Kher, Badaun, Aligarh, Etah, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura, GB Nagar, Bulandsahar, Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore and Baghpat.

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Published: 03 May 2018, 2:58 PM