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Thunderstorm death toll mounts to 53, more storms predicted; Updates

Business Standard Thunderstorm death toll mounts to 53, more storms predicted; Updates

Dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital, leaving behind a trail of destruction

BS Web Team | New Delhi Last Updated at May 14, 2018 13:58 IST

A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi, on Sunday. Dust storms and thunderstorms across India: A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI

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Dust storms and thunderstorms, which hit several states of the country on Sunday, claimed at least 53 lives in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar.

Uttar Pradesh bore the maximum brunt of the thunderstorm and hail that left at least 39 people dead, while four people were killed in West Bengal. Nine people lost their lives in Andhra Pradesh and one in Delhi, according to information received from state governments.

Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The devastation comes over 10 days after storms hit UP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400. Accounting for 80 deaths, UP was the worst affected, with most of the deaths occurring in the Agra district in the western part of the state.

Subsequently, on May 9, several parts of Uttar Pradesh were struck by a severe storm that left 18 dead and 27 others injured.

Here are the top 10 developments around the thunderstorms and dust storms that hit several parts of the country:

1) Adverse weather likely to prevail during next 48 to 72 hours: According to media reports, adverse weather condition will prevail in many parts of the country over the next 48-72 hours. "There is a circulation of a western disturbance in north-west India. Our forecast shows weather will be adverse for the next 48 to 72 hours," Charan Singh, a scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told NDTV.

2) Thunderstorms kill 39 in UP: As many as 39 people died due to lightning and thunderstorm in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Extre me weather conditions have injured 53 people in the state.

3) Nine deaths in Andhra Pradesh; four deaths in West Bengal: According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), nine people were killed in Andhra Pradesh, while four died in West Bengal due to lightning and thunderstorms during the intervening night of May 13 and 14.

Further, Delhi and Bihar witnessed one and two deaths, respectively.

ALSO READ: Thunderstorm, dust storm 'likely' tomorrow in 26 UP districts: Met office

4) Flights diverted in Delhi: The sudden change of weather in Delhi forced airport authorities to divert at least 10 domestic flights on Sunday, an official said. Vistara's Srinagar-Delhi flight was diverted to Amritsar and its Lucknow-Delhi flight was sent to Lucknow due to the inclement weather.

ALSO READ: Hill states likely to witness thunderstorm in next 48 hrs

5) Dust storm hits traffic in Delhi: According to a senior Delhi Traffic Police officer, traffic was affected in Lutyens' Delhi, West and South Delhi.

Traffic was affected due to the uprooting of around 70 trees. About 25 trees that have fallen on roads are yet to be removed, the traffic police said.

All traffic police cranes were deployed while disaster management vehicles of traffic and municipal bodies were also being involved in removing bigger trees which were uprooted, they said.

Delhi Police has received 40 calls about fallen poles, which affected traffic movement.

Read our detailed copy on the previous spate of dust storms and thunderstorms in India: Dust storm lashes Delhi-NCR on Monday, thunderstorm may hit today; updates

6) Dust storm affects rail services in Delhi, adjacent areas: The dust storms and thunderstorms affected rail services in Delhi and its adjacent areas with the Nizamuddin-Palwal section being the worst hit as trees fell on railway tracks and overhead electrical equipment got damaged.

A number of trains were stranded, including the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, which was held up at the Sonepat station. Several goods trains were also stranded, even as operations on other routes remained normal, a railway spokesperson said.

A platform of the Faridabad station suffered structural damage due to the high-velocity winds and trains on the Nizamuddin-Palwal section were running slow at the time of filing this report.

Read our detailed copy on the devastation caused by thunderstorms earlier this month: Thunderstorm kills 124, another one likely in Delhi, UP, Rajasthan tomorrow

7) PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi condoles loss of lives in storms: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in storms that hit p arts of the country on Sunday evening.

He said he has asked officials to provide all possible assistance to those affected.

"Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms in some parts of the country. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured," he wrote on Twitter.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, condoled the deaths and urged his party workers to provide all possible assistance to the affected families.

"At least 18 people have been reportedly killed in lightning strikes in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal today. My condolences to their families. I urge Congress party workers to provide all possible assistance to the bereaved families," Gandhi tweeted.

8) President condoles thunderstorm deaths: President Ramnath Kovind condoled the deaths due to thunderstorms which struck various parts of the country on Sunday, claiming doze ns of lives and leaving scores of people injured.

President Kovind took to Twitter and said, "Sad to hear of loss of lives due to rain and thunderstorms in different parts of the country. Condolences to those bereaved. Thoughts with fellow citizens who have been affected, especially little children #PresidentKovind."

9) 100 houses in Uttar Pradesh gutted in fire sparked by lightning: In UP, about 100 houses were gutted in a fire which broke out due to lightning in Sambhal district's Rajpura area late Sunday night.

Three fire tenders have been pressed into service to douse the fire, according to official sources.

No reports of causalities or injuries have been reported so far.

10) Uttarakhand likely to be hit by thunderstorm: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a weather warning for next five days in Ut tarakhand.

Hail, thunderstorm, and squall are expected to occur in isolated areas in the Garhwal and Kumaon region starting from today afternoon or evening,

The IMD has also forecast that very light rain or thunderstorm can hit isolated places of the state on May 15, May 16, and May 17.

With agency inputs

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 09:05 IST
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