Orissa tornado death toll rises to 10

April 1st, 2009 - 11:15 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, April 1 (IANS) The death toll in Tuesday’s unseasonal tornado in Orissa rose to 10 Wednesday with the recovery of two more bodies, officials said.
“Two dead bodies were found early this morning. We fear there could be more people trapped under the debris,” district sub-collector Ranjan Kumar Das told IANS.

He added that at least 20 people are suspected to have perished in the storm.

The tornado followed by a hailstorm wreaked havoc in at least 11 villages of Rajkanika block in the coastal district of Kendrapada. It struck around 4.30 p.m. Tuesday and continued for nearly one-and-a-half hours.

It took several hours for relief and rescue teams to reach the affected villages because a large number of uprooted trees blocked the way.

While officials said the number of injured admitted to hospitals is over 100, they fear the figure will rise to 300.

The twister was so strong that several vehicles were tossed around like toys. At Arasa village, a tractor crashed to the ground after being lifted into the air by the storm. The driver was killed on the spot.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, who is on a two-day trip to the state for the poll campaign, is expected to visit the affected areas Wednesday, official sources said.

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