India Rain, Dust Storm Kills at Least 120, Injures 200

Article By: Associated Press

At least 120 people died and another 200 were injured as heavy rain and a dust storm struck northern and western India overnight, officials said. Some of the most severe damage was reported in Agra, the northern Indian city that’s home to the Taj Mahal. More than 40 people were killed in the city when winds as high as 80 mph collapsed houses and brought down trees, Uttar Pradesh state Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.

The Taj Mahal was not damaged by the storms.

“Satellite imagery shows that a cluster of strong thunderstorms developed in northwest India and swept through northern parts of the country,” said meteorologist Chris Dolce. “The storms were accompanied by high winds, which not only caused damage but also swept dust into the region.”

Amid repair and relief work, India’s meteorological department warned another powerful dust storm would sweep parts of the two states this weekend. The Home Ministry said 73 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh state and 35 in Rajasthan state.

The storm also caused eight deaths in southern Telangana state and another eight deaths in northern Uttarakhand and Punjab states, it said. Another 83 people in Uttar Pradesh state were injured by the storm, which sent tin roofs and advertising displays flying, Kumar said.

In neighboring Rajasthan state, another 35 people were killed and another 150 were injured. Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by lightning or gusts of wind.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the storm triggered traffic snarls and delayed some trains in Rajasthan state as overhead power lines snapped. The rainstorm caught people by surprise as the monsoon season is still more than six weeks away.

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