17 killed in Uttar Pradesh storm

May 27th, 2008 - 1:38 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, May 27 (IANS) At least 17 people have been killed in over 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh as houses collapsed, trees were uprooted and hoardings were destroyed in a storm, officials said Tuesday. With details of the damage done by Monday’s storm still being collected, officials said the deaths were reported from Unnao, Etawah, Meerut, Pratapgarh, Hardoi, Banda, Rai Bareilly, Sultanpur, Kannauj, Barabanki and Lakhimpur districts of the state.

The highest number of deaths was reported from Unnao district where five people were killed in Hasanganj and Shakhipur towns as walls collapsed in the storm.

Strong winds left Bareilly, Shahjahanpur and Badaun districts without electricity for hours.

According to officials of the meteorological department, the state will continue to witness squalls and cloudy skies for the rest of the week.

In state capital Lucknow, the wind reached a speed of 94 kmph during the storm and there were 2.6 mm of rainfall.

Met officials attributed the change in weather to an “upper air cyclonic pressure formed over northern regions of the country”.

“An upper air cyclonic pressure formed over Haryana, Punjab and Delhi has moved towards Uttar Pradesh. This upper air cyclonic pressure and the one that already exists over central Uttar Pradesh were the main factors for the rainfall,” L.C. Ram, director (agriculture) of the meteorological department here, told IANS.

He added that the easterly wind coming from the Bay of Bengal would increase the moisture concentration over Uttar Pradesh, which may increase the intensity of rainfall in the next five days.

Although the change in the weather has taken its toll on this year’s mango crop, agricultural scientists said the rain will increase the production of vegetables.

“Agricultural yield of seasonal vegetables will witness a considerable rise owing to the recent spells of the pre-monsoon rainfall,” said Ram.

He added the rainfall will be quite beneficial for the crops of bottle-gourd, bitter-gourd, lady’s finger, aubergine and pumpkin, which need a lot of water.

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