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Thunderstorms claim 80 lives; Adityanath chairs disaster management meeting

BS Web Team/New Delhi 14 May 18 | 07:52 PM

Commuters ride past a tree that was uprooted after last night thunderstorm, in Bawana area of New Delhi on Monday

As many as 80 people have been killed in five states due to thunderstorms and lightning strikes since yesterday, with Uttar Pradesh alone recording 51 deaths, the Home Ministry said on Monday. Fourteen people died in West Bengal, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand, a ministry spokesperson said.

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Of the 136 people injured in lightning strikes and thunderstorms, 123 were from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Delhi and two from Uttarakhand.

A total of 24 districts in Uttar Pradesh, six in West Bengal, three in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand were hit by the lightning and thunderstorms, the spokesperson said.

Dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc since yesterday in Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

High-velocity winds uprooted trees and affected road, rail and air services last evening in several places in north India, including the national capital.

Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said yesterday.

The devastation comes over 12 days after storms hit Uttar Pradesh (UP), Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, killing 134 people and injuring over 400. UP was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in 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.

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

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

1. 80 dead, 136 injured in 5 states due to lightning strikes, thunderstormsAs many as 80 people lost their lives in five states, including 42 in Uttar Pradesh, due to lightning and thunderstorms since yesterday, the Home Ministry said today.Among the dead, 42 were in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand, a ministry spokesperson said.

Altogether 83 people were injured in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in Delhi and two in Uttarakhand.

A total of 24 districts in Uttar Pradesh, six in West Bengal, three in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand were hit by the lightning and thunderstorms, the spokesperson said.

A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi, on Sunday.

2. Adityanath chairs disaster management meetingThe disaster management officials briefed the Chief Minister about the recent casualties caused due to a thunderstorm in the state.

As per Ministry of Home Affairs, 51 people lost their lives and many injured due to the dust storm in different regions of Uttar Pradesh, including Kannauj, Aligarh, Kasganj, Sambhal, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Auraiya, and Sambhal.

While the deadly storm claimed the life of one person and injured four in Ghaziabad, one woman was killed and a man got seriously injured in Greater Noida.

One person was killed each in Kannauj, Aligarh and Sambhal district, while four were killed in Kasganj and two in Bulandshahr.

In the wake of the storm, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath has directed all District Magistrates and Commissioners to provide immediate relief and ensure medical assistance to the injured.

3. Uttarkhand Police tells officers to be prepared: With the weather department warning of rain and hailstorm in parts of Uttarakhand, the state police today asked allits districtheads to stay alert and prepared.

ADGP (Law and Order) Ashok Kumar asked the SPs and Senior SPs of all districts to be prepared in view of the MeT department warning and deploy adequate force on river banks, waterfalls and similar places of tourist interest where people take photographs, a statement released here said.

State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), disaster response teams and water police personnel should be ready with necessary equipmentat all police stations to jump into action in case of an emergency, it said quoting the ADG.

The hill patrol units and tourism policewere also asked to inform 'chardham' pilgrims about the MeT department warning and send weather updates on WhatsApp so that they could take necessary precautions.

The MeT department has warned of rain and hailstorm in seven districts of Uttarakhand over the next 24 hours including Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Pithoragarh and Champawat, it said.

4. UP dust storm toll mounts to 51; 83 injuredAt least 51 people were killed and 83 others injured in a severe storm that hit parts of Uttar Pradesh, officials said today.

They said 121 houses were damaged in various parts of the state in last night's storm that affected 25 districts.

Thirteen people lost their lives in Barabanki district, around 28 km from the state capital.

Eight of them died when they slipped into the Ghaghra river as they lost their balance due to strong winds, officials said, adding that the local administration was probing the matter.

Bareilly accounted for eight deaths, followed by six in Kasganj, four in Bulandshahr, three in Lakhimpur Khiri, and two each in Saharanpur, Pratapgarh and Jaunpur.

Etawah, Kannauj, Sambhal, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Badaun, Mirzapur, Mathura, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli accounted for one death each.

Of the 83 injured, the maximum of 17 was reported from Bulandshahr followed by 14 in Saharanpur and 13 in Sambhal.

Officials said 121 houses were damaged and 17 animals died in the storm.

5. Thunderstorm claims four lives in BiharAt least four persons were killed and several others injured early today when thunderstorm lashed parts of the state, uprooting trees, electric poles and billboards.

According to the weather department, winds blowing at the speed of 60km per hour, accompanied by lightning and showers, swept across the state between 1 am and 2 am.

The State Disaster Management Department could not ascertain the number of people who sustained injuries in the storm, but pegged the toll at four.

Two casualties were reported from Saran district and one each from Patna and Darbhanga, the Principal Secretary of State Disaster Management Department, Pratyay Amrit, told PTI.

Amrit, who also holds the charge for power department, said electricity supply was disrupted in various parts of the state, especially in north Bihar, as the storm uprooted hundreds of trees, resulting in snapping of cables and collapse of poles.

Bihar Governor Satya Pal Mallik and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar issued separate statements expressing their grief over the loss of life and property and wished early recovery for the injured.

6. Over 450 PCR calls received during storm, says Delhi Police: More than 450 emergency calls were made to the Police Control Room (PCR) owing to the sudden thunderstorm and dust storm that hit the national capital, the Delhi Police said on Monday.

According to the police, the total number of calls up to 8 a.m. on Monday related to Sunday's dust storm was 467, of which 301 were related to trees falling in various parts of the city.

"There were 87 calls related to poles falling and 79 calls of roof collapse. We also received 304 calls related to traffic jams," an official added.

In Sarita Vihar area in southeast Delhi, a tin sheet blown off a rooftop by strong winds hit a 22-year-old pedestrian Rohit, injuring him seriously. He was rushed to the Apollo hospital where he was declared brought dead.

In Pandav Nagar area in east Delhi, Sonwati, 56, died after a tree fell on her, police added.

7. Rahul Gandhi condoles death: Condoling the deaths, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday urged the party workers to provide all possible assistance to the bereaved families.

"My condolences to the families of those killed in the severe storms and lightning strikes across India, yesterday (Sunday). Many have also been injured.

"I urge Congress Party workers to provide all possible assistance to the families of those killed and injured," he said in a tweet.

My condolences to the families of those killed in the severe storms and lightning strikes across India, yesterday. Many have also been injured. I urge Congress Party workers to provide all possible assistance to the families of those killed and injured.

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 14, 2018

8. 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. 

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

9. 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

10. 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  

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 

With agency inputs

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