New Delhi, April 18: The death toll in dust and thunderstorms rose to 64 in the west, central India. A majority of people died were from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Lightning strikes, electrocution and tree falls claimed the most of the lives. According to The Times of India report, 25 people lost their lives in Rajasthan, 21 in Madhya Pradesh and 10 in Gujarat 10. Three people also reported having died in Maharashtra.
Rains accompanied by strong winds and hailstorms have also caused damage to crops, in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and other places. The sudden change in weather was caused by a Confluence Zone that was formed due to western disturbance which drew moisture from the Arabian Sea merging with the Southeasterly winds from Bay Bengal.
“The interaction between the two components caused widespread lightning events. Although the dust and thunderstorms unleashed by the disturbance were not very intense, these were distributed across a vast swathe of land which added to the death toll,” reported TOI quoting B P Yadav, head of IMD’s regional meteorological centre in New Delhi as saying. According to reports, the intensity of storms in the western parts has weakened, while the eastern part of the country may witness rains. Monsoon 2019 Forecast: IMD Predicts 'Near Normal' South West Monsoon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the deaths due to rains. The PMO in a tweet said, "PM @narendramodi has expressed grief at the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country." Manipur: Thunderstorm, Heavy Rain Claim 3 Lives, Injures 10 School Students.
Prime Minister's Tweet:
PM @narendramodi has expressed grief at the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country. The government is doing its best to provide all possible assistance to those affected. The situation is being monitored closely.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 17, 2019
The Prime Minister also announced an ex- gratia of Rs two lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to unseasonal rain & storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur and various parts of the country. Meanwhile, Rs 50,000 each has been announced for the people who were injured in the rains.