27 Dead After High-Intensity Dust Storm Hits Rajasthan

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Jaipur: At least 22 people have died in Rajasthan after a high-intensity squall swept through eastern parts of state said.

Over 100 people have been injured due to the dust storm, which was followed by thunder showers.

The storm hit Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur districts, uprooting electricity poles and trees and collapsing houses.

“So far, 27 people have died due to the disaster, including 12 in Bharatpur, 10 in Dholpur and 5 in Alwar. The squall was reported mainly in three districts,” Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera told news agency PTI.

Two of those killed in Dholpur were from Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
Gera also said nearly 100 were injured in the disaster. 20 were injured in Alwar, 32 in Bharatpur and 50 in Dholpur respectively.

“A few are undergoing primary treatment while others were discharged. One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur,” he said. A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service to clear debris and restore power supply, Gera added.

Gera said contigency funds have been released to the respective district administration. He said Rs 4 lakh will be given to family members of deceased, Rs 2 lakh to persons sustaining 60 per cent injuries and Rs 60,000 to people with 40 to 50 per cent injuries.

A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service, Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera told.

The storm caused major destruction in Alwar where more than 100 trees were uprooted, many of which fell on stationary vehicles and snapped electricity cables. The power distribution company switched off electricity to prevent further damage. The district has been without electricity since night.

DP Singh, Alwar power distribution company executive engineer said, “More than 1,000 electricity poles were uprooted in the storm, plunging the city in darkness. It will take us at least two days to restore supply,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and said authorities concerned in the districts have been directed to ensure all possible help to victims.

“Condolence for families who lost their loved ones,” she said on Twitter.

In view of the calamity, Congress National General Secretary Ashok Gehlot cancelled his birthday celebrations at his official residence in Jaipur.

“We are extremely grieved at the loss of lives in the state and stand with the victims in this hour of tragedy…I cancel all celebrations at my residence today. Blood donation camps and Janhit programs can be continued by organisers,” he said.

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