Death toll in India dust storm and rain climbs up to 127

More weather disturbance predicted in the coming days as northern states report more deaths after Wednesday’s storm.

The death toll in the dust storm and heavy rainfall that swept through northern India has climbed up to at least 127, as the country’s weather agency warns of more weather disturbance in the coming days.  

Officials told Al Jazeera that at least 73 people have been killed and 91 others injured in the state of Uttar Pradesh. 

In neighbouring Rajasthan state, at least 36 people were killed and over a hundred were injured, while four others were reported killed and eight injured in Uttarkhand.

Some of those who were seriously injured from the collapse of buildings and homes on Wednesday evening died in the hospital, according to reports.  

Meanwhile, in the state of Andra Pradesh, at least 14 people were reported killed by lightning strikes.

India’s National Weather Forecasting Centre said that thunderstorm accompanied with squall are “very likely” at isolated places in Uttarkand, Jammu and Kashmir and other neighbouring states on Friday and Saturday.

A “heat wave condition” is also expected on Saturday in some parts of Rajasthan. 

On Sunday, thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail is predicted at Himachal Pradesh, while heavy rain is “very likely” in Assam and Meghalaya. 

Another dust storm or thunderstorm could also hit isolated areas over at the western part of Rajasthan. 

On Thursday, it was reported that winds as strong as 126 kilometres per hour accompanied the dust storm.

According to Al Jazeera’s senior weather presenter, Richard Angwin, dust storms are common in Rajasthan during the period before the monsoon rains.

A large part of the Thar desert lies within the state of Rajasthan, and dry, sandy soils are prone to wind erosion and transportation, he said.

The Hindu newspaper also reported that a “cyclonic circulation” in the state of Haryana also contributed in the deadly dust storm. 

In the northern city of Agra, where at least 36 people reportedly died, the Times of India reported how the dust storm suddenly swept through the area as residents were getting ready to sleep on Wednesday night.

One family lost their children aged six to 10 and an infant nephew, as the wall of their house collapsed while the children were in bed.

“I wish I had died in place of them. They were so cheerful on Wednesday night that they didn’t want to go to sleep. If only I would have let them play a little longer, maybe they would have alive today,” Rajbir, the father from Agra told the Times of India.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

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