At least 69 people were killed and more than hundred injured as high-intensity squall followed by thundershowers hit parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh overnight, leaving a trail of destruction.
Houses collapsed while electric poles and trees uprooted as the severe dust storm-swept the region.
“So far, 27 people have died due to the disaster, including 12 in Bharatpur, 10 in Dholpur and 5 in Alwar. The squall was reported mainly in three districts,” Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera told the media.
Two of those killed in Dholpur belonged to Agra, UP.
While at least 42 people were killed in four districts of western Uttar Pradesh, a majority of 36 people died in Agra, three in Bijnore, two in Saharanpur and one in Bareilly, state government officials said.
Nearly 100 injured in Rajasthan and at least 38 were hurt in UP.
“A few are undergoing primary treatment while others were discharged. One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur,” he said.
A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service to clear debris and restore power supply, he said.
Gera said contingency funds have been released to the district administration. He said Rs 4 lakh will be given to family members of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh to persons sustaining 60 percent injuries and Rs 60,000 to people with 40 to 50 percent injuries.
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and said authorities concerned in the districts have been directed to ensure all possible help to victims.