42 killed by severe storm – April 13, 2018

Parts of Eastern Rajasthan and Western UP affected

A deadly storm affected parts of eastern Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday night and left 42 people dead in its wake. Heavy rains and very strong winds were observed in this region for nearly 4 hours.

While 22 people lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh, 20 died in Rajasthan. Agra, which had 14 deaths, was the worst affected place in UP. Also in UP, 4 people each were killed in Mathura and Firozabad districts. 14 people died in Dholpur district of Rajasthan, while Bharatpur district, also in Rajasthan, saw 6 deaths. The death toll included many children. A minaret at the entrance of the Taj Mahal also collapsed.

The state administration has said that house collapses were the biggest reason for the high death toll. A senior officer explained, “Most of the deaths were due to walls of houses coming down. At many places, the victims were asleep.” In Jhuravi village of Mathura district, in a single incident, the roof of a one-room house collapsed, killing three siblings. The incident occurred when the siblings’ parents, who are daily wage labourers, were not present, as per the police.

Apart from the death toll, the storm injured over 200 people. The severe storm also left parts of UP in darkness as over 600 electricity poles fell down. One policeman was also injured and communication lines were damaged when the roof of the UP Police dial 100 control room in Agra collapsed. The in-charge of UP dial 100, Devendar Pal Singh, clarified, “The team is working to restore the communication channel so as to reconnect with our Lucknow headquarters. This was one of the worst storms in which several lives were lost and property worth several crores was destroyed.” The storm also killed over hundred cattle in these regions. Meanwhile in Rajasthan, an ex gratia payment of Rs 50,000 each to the families of the deceased has been announced by Shuchi Tyaagi, the Dholpur District Collector.

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