New Delhi, May 14: After causing significant destruction of life and property in parts of North, North East and South India, thunderstorms and dust storms will prevail until tomorrow, according to predictions of the Weather Office of Delhi. At least 60 people have been killed so far; and the dust storm has left behind its mark of destruction in four states - Uttar Pradesh (UP), West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and national capital New Delhi.
The weather officials have stated that the thunderstorm wind is running at a speed of 70 kilometres per hour and likely to hit 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) today. Meanwhile, the UP CM Yogi Adityanath, while taking stock of the affected regions, asked officials to provide immediate relief and compensation in next 24 hours to those who have lost their family members.
The fatality toll, including the thunderstorms which struck Uttar Pradesh last week, has jumped to around 122. Significant damage to properties have also been reported with nearly 100 kuccha houses (mud houses) gutted in fire due to lightning in Sambhal district.
Earlier in the day, Mathura MP Hema Malini met an accident after a tree fell on her car. However, no injury reported during the mishap.
In West Bengal, 12 people died which includes four children. Also over 15 injured due to lightning and heavy rain yesterday. The news reports stated that the four children had stepped out to pick fallen mangoes when lightning struck them.
The gusty winds and that swept UP, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh also affected the national capital Delhi, uprooting trees that fell on moving cars and caused severe traffic congestion. Vehicles were stuck on the busy Blue Line, which links Dwarka in north-west Delhi to Noida and Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh, for almost 45 minutes. The trains were then slowed down as a precaution. Also, the Delhi Metro services hampered.
Earlier, the schools in Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh were closed as a precautionary measure, after the weather office predicted a huge storm across 13 states. The wind, however, turned out to be far lower in intensity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sympathy towards the family and tweeted, "Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms in some parts of the country. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured."
According to the MeT, the storm was a result of western disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir and a cyclonic circulation over Haryana. An east-west trough from Haryana to Nagaland and easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal are raising wind speed and destroying the states.