Death toll increases, flights diverted due to dust storm in the country

Thunderstorm and squall likely in north Indian hill states from Sunday predicts IMD

Thunderstorm and squall likely in north Indian hill states from Sunday predicts IMD

Dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital, killing at least 57 people and leaving behind a trail of destruction.

"Thirty-nine people were killed and 50 others were injured in the dust storm that hit various parts of Uttar Pradesh on May 13-14", the official said.

The maximum number of deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh where at least 39 people died following the sudden change in weather. Around 40 people were killed in storm-related incidents in various parts of the country. Delhiites were stuck in different areas, as Metro service were also disrupted due to strong winds and rain.

Indira Gandhi International Airport was closed for more than two hours because of the winds. At least 10 huts caught fire due to lightning in Sanota village in Bulandshahr.

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Reports pouring in from Uttar Pradesh said almost 100 houses were gutted in a fire which broke out due to lightning in Sambhal. More details are awaited.

Thunderstorm and dust storm with winds speeds of up to 70 km per hour are "very likely" on Monday in districts of Uttar Pradesh and across parts of northern India, the weather office warned.

On Sunday, thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Several goods trains were reportedly stranded, even as operations on other routes remained normal. Condolences to the bereaved families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that he was "saddened by the loss of lives due to storms in some parts of the country", and that he had asked authorities to provide "all possible assistance" to the needy.

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