Dust storm leaves sixty dead in Uttar Pradesh

May 15th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, May 15 (IANS) At least 60 people were feared killed in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh after strong winds lashed the state and officials Thursday said the toll could go up further. With details of the storm-damage Wednesday still being collected, the maximum deaths were reported from Kannauj district where 14 people died in incidents of fire, wall collapse and uprooting of trees.

“The maximum casualties were due to fire incidents that occurred as the victims were cooking when the storm struck. In most cases, the victims were residing in huts that caught fire,” Kannauj District Magistrate K.B.S. Gautam told IANS.

The storm claimed 10 lives in Firozabad, five in Jalaun, eight in Etawah, six in Unnao and five each in Mathura and Hathras.

Strong winds accompanied by a short spell of rainfall had lashed several districts of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday afternoon. In Lucknow, the wind speed recorded at Amausi Airport was approximately 70-75 km an hour.

Meteorological department director K.P. Kulshrestha said the stormy conditions were typical of the pre-monsoon period.

“The change in weather was owing to the upper air cyclonic circulation formed in different parts of the north-west regions of the country,” he said.

He said Delhi and Agra also experienced similar weather conditions.

The met department said the city would continue to experience strong winds and rain in the coming few days.

Agriculture scientists said the stormy weather could affect crops of mango, muskmelon and watermelon.

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