As many as 95 people were killed and over 100 others injured after a powerful dust storm followed by thunder showers wreaked havoc in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night.
The high-intensity dust storm in parts of Uttar Pradesh overnight left at least 64 people dead and scores others injured. Agra was the worst hit where 43 people lost their lives.
“As per the latest figures received here, 64 people were killed and 47 injured in the dust storm in different parts of the state,” Uttar Pradesh Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.
Apart from Agra, three persons died in Bijnor, two in Saharanpur, three in Kanpur Dehat, one each in Bareilly, Chitrakoot, Raebareli and Unnao besides other districts, the government official said.
Congress slams CM Yogi for campaigning in Karnataka even when people suffer from dust storm
The Congress slammed UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for campaigning in poll-bound Karnataka even when people of his state were reeling under the impact of the severe dust storm that has left many dead.
"Even if people of Uttar Pradesh are suffering, I am busy culling out 'jumlas' (gimmicks) in Karnataka elections -- Adityanath, missing chief minister, Uttar Pradesh," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
Adityanath is scheduled to address election rallies in Karnataka over the next two days.
Rajasthan death toll reaches to 31, CM Raje announces compensation
In Rajasthan, the high-speed dust storm wreaked havoc in Alwar, Dholpur, Bharatpur districts, uprooting hundreds of trees and electricity polls. At least 16 people were killed in Bharatpur, 10 in Dholpur and five in Alwar.
However, Hemant Kumar Gera, Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief confimred only 27 deaths, but reports said that four more people succumbed to injuries in Bharatapur.
"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," PTI quoted as saying.
Gera said that a detailed report of the disaster was awaited even as relief and rescue teams were sent to clear debris and restore power supply, he said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed her condolences to the families of deceased and directed concerned district officials to begin relief work and restore utilities.
“Have directed Ministers and concerned officials to affected areas to begin relief work immediately and restore utilities. An unfortunate incident, we have been working closely with local authorities to mitigate the situation,” Raje tweeted.
A compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family members of deceased and Rs 2 lakh for people sustaining 60 per cent injuries was announced by the authories. Rs People with 40 to 50 per cent injuries will also be given Rs 60,000.
The Chief Minister also assigned monitoring tasks to several ministers and party leaders. Gulabchand Kataria and Arun Chaturvedi were asked to monitor situation in Alwar and Dholpur, respectively.
While state Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf was monitoring the situation in Bharatpur, Surendrapal Singh was looking after the relief work in Jhunjhunu.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot asked district Congress presidents and ‘Seva Dal’ members to provide “any possible help” to those affected by the inclement weather.
“Extremely grieved” at the loss of lives, former Rajasthan chief minister and Congress’ national general secretary Ashok Gehlot cancelled his birthday celebration at his residence.
(With inputs from agencies)