26 dead, over 50 injured in U.P. dust storm, lightning

Severe dust storm and lightning in various parts of Uttar Pradesh claimed at least 26 lives and left 57 people injured as houses and walls collapsed and trees were uprooted, prompting authorities to launch large-scale relief operations on Friday.

Mainpuri district bore the brunt of nature’s fury late on Thursday night as six people died there in separate cases of wall collapse and lightning, the State Relief Commissioner said.

Massive destruction

Forty-one people were injured in the district and uprooted trees blocked vehicular movement on the State highways leading to massive traffic jams.

Police said most of the injuries occurred when people sleeping inside their mud houses were caught unawares as walls collapsed due to the thunderstorm.

People were also injured as they were hit by signboards and hoardings which were torn off, police said.

“While six people died in Mainpuri; three each died in Etah and Kasganj; two each in Farrukhabad and Barabanki; and one each in Moradabad, Badaun, Pilibhit, Mathura, Kannauj, Sambhal, Ghaziabad, Amroha, Badaun and Mahoba in incidents related to dust storm and lightning,” data released by the State Relief Commissioner said.

Power outages

Thirty-one cattle died and 16 houses were also damaged, officials said. Power outages were reported from various parts of the State, including Lucknow, as electricity lines snapped in the gale.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to take all measures to provide relief to the affected people.

A financial assistance Rs ₹4 lakh has been announced by the chief minister for the family of the deceased, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said.

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