Tragedy: More than 100 killed in India dust-storm as prime minister expresses grief

Tragedy: More than 100 killed in India dust-storm as prime minister expresses grief

- A terrible dust-storm has hit some states of India like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan

- The natural disaster destroyed homes and buildings, claiming not less than 100 lives

- On his Twitter page, the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, expressed his sadness and grief over the tragic development

More than 109 lives were lost and many more injured in horrible dust storms that assailed the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. On Wednesday, May 2, the disaster affected electric poles, trees, houses and led to the death of some livestock.

Most of the deceased were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by intense bursts of lightning, BBC reports.

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Alwar hotel owner, Shivam Lohia said he was forced to leave his car after it was almost blown off by the storm: Lohia said: "I haven't seen such a devastating storm in at least 25 years. Everyone was scared and running for cover as trees and homes were getting blown away. It was a nightmare."

Concerning the incident, environmental and security operatives revealed that the death toll could rise with time. Uprooted trees and broken walls killed many people in the state. In fact, one Indian journalist, Laxmikant Pachouri, said that 21 people had died in the village of Kheragarh, about 50km (30 miles) south west of Agra, home to the famous Taj Mahal monument.

Pachouri remarked: "People are in shock and can't believe that such destruction happened in their village. I met a family which lost four children last night - it was so disturbing. The family can't believe it. They told me that their children were playing in the house when a wall collapsed on them. Their parents are so distraught and cannot stop crying."

In reaction to the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses his sadness on his Twitter page over the loss of life.

Reports said that Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh chief minister, has directed officials to close supervise and monitor relief operations. Also, the government has also announced that families of the dead will receive 400,000 rupees ($6,000; £4,400) as compensation.

The storms also affected three districts in neighbouring Rajasthan state - Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur - where at least 36 people were killed. Officials say Alwar is worst affected. Schools in the district are closed.

Further findings said the southern state of Andhra Pradesh was attacked by over 41,000 lightning strikes on the same day, adding that the states has also recorded some deaths.

Hemant Gera, secretary for disaster management and relief in Rajasthan said he was overwhelmed by the massive nature of the disaster. Gera remarked: "I've been in office for 20 years and this is the worst I've seen.

"We had a high intensity dust storm on 11 April - 19 people died then - but this time it struck during the night so many people sleeping and couldn't get out of their houses when mud walls collapsed."

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Gera said teams were trying to restore electricity to homes after 200 to 300 electricity poles were destroyed. The dust storm also hit the capital Delhi, more than 100km (62 miles) away, with heavy downpour. The meteorological department of India forecasted that more storms were likely to come across a wider area soon.

Meanwhile, reported that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) had predicted partly cloudy weather conditions over the central states of the country on Tuesday, October 3.

NiMet’s weather outlook by its Central Forecast Office (CFO) on Monday in Abuja also predicted prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Benue, Jos, Nasarawa and parts of Kogi during the afternoon and evening hours.

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