Uttar Pradesh dust storm death toll rises to 12

Massive dust storm hits Agra, tourists at Taj Mahal dash to take cover

Police and officials reported four deaths in Etawah, three in Mathura and two in Firozabad.

Uttar Pradesh Relief Commissioner, Sanjay Kumar on Thursday said that compensation will be provided to those affected by the thunderstorm that hit various districts of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday night. Two of the three deaths in Mathura happened when electricity poles collapsed on the victims.

A similar unseasonal powerful dust storm and thundershowers a week ago left more than 120 people dead and another 200 injured in five Indian states.

On May 13, the National Weather Forecasting Centre, has predicted thunderstorms accompanied with squall (wind speed 50-70 kmph) in several states of North and East India.

The death toll due to the thunderstorm which has been battering Western UP has reached 11, with over half a dozen people injured.

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A high-intensity dust storm hit New Delhi and Haryana late Monday night. The injured were rushed to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital.

The Wednesday storm comes a week after 73 persons died in the State as hailstorm, lightning and duststorms damaged property and crops and caused human loss in 22 districts of the State. Shakuntala Devi (55) died as electric poll fell on her in Taiti village while Bhagwati (38) died when tractor-trolley overturned in Khanjaravas village. "More funds have been allocated to the worst affected districts for providing immediate relief to the families of victims", said he.

Schools and colleges were closed in several districts based on the storm warnings, he said.

Uttar Pradesh was the hardest hit with 80 deaths, majority in Agra district. "Go to the villages and extend help to them", he said in a communique.

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