Seven killed as duststorm hits western UP, Met office predicts bad weather for next 24 hours

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has directed the district magistrates to distribute relief among the storm-hit people immediately.

Seven killed as duststorm hits western UP, Met office predicts bad weather for next 24 hours
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LUCKNOW: At least seven people were killed and half a dozen others injured as a strong duststorm hit many parts of western Uttar Pradesh late on Wednesday.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday night confirmed that at least four people have been killed in Agra while three others lost their lives in Etawah. The deceased include a woman. 

''Four people died in Etawah district, three in Mathura and one in Agra in mishaps related to this evening's thunderstorm,'' Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi told reporters late on Wednesday.

Awasthi said the district magistrates have been asked to distribute relief among the storm-hit people immediately.

Another death was reported from Hathras district, where a 15-year-old boy was struck by lightning while returning from the fields in Mohabbatpura village.

Gusty winds were blowing across western and central Uttar Pradesh and hail was also reported from Firozabad, neighbouring the Taj city, the official said. 

Trees were uprooted at many places and power outages were also reported. Traffic was hit on highways at some places, the reports said.

The Regional Met office has predicted more such storms in the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials of the storm-hit districts of Aligarh, Agra, Mathura and Firozabad to ensure prompt relief to those affected in the rough weather. 

He has also warned officials against any laxity with regards to relief and has asked them to make an immediate assessment of the losses and damage caused by the storm and ensure speedy disbursal of compensation.

Thunderstorms and lightning on May 2-3 had killed at least 134 people and injured more than 400 in five states, according to the Home Ministry.

Uttar Pradesh was the hardest hit with 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district. 

About 100 people were killed then in the state as mud houses collapsed, trees were uprooted and electricity cables snapped.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had faced criticism then for not heading back immediately from the Karnataka election campaign, as news of the casualties poured in from his own state.

Since the May 2-3 thunderstorm, the India Meteorological Department had issued more bad weather alerts for northern India states.

Parts of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi experienced rain and strong winds yesterday.

(With PTI inputs)

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