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Powerful Storms Kill At Least 43 Across Northern India

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INDIA (ABC NEWS)- Powerful winds and rainstorms swept across a crowded swath of northern India, demolishing houses, uprooting trees and killing at least 43 people as winds turned the skies brown with dust and sand, officials said Monday.

Most of the deaths occurred when wind and falling trees caused buildings to collapse, leaving people buried in the wreckage. In the town of Bareilly, the minaret of a mosque fell on a group of people taking shelter in the courtyard, killing eight people. In another town, one man was killed when he was hit by a billboard that had been blown loose.

Less than two weeks ago, similar storms caused 134 deaths and injured another 400. The extreme weather comes amid withering summer heat, and approaching monsoon rains.

“These storm are not unusual at this time of the year,” said J.P. Gupta, the meteorological office director for Uttar Pradesh state. “But the wind speed this year is a bit abnormal.”

Winds reached speeds up to 109 kilometers per hour (68 miles per hour) Sunday, officials said. Trains and commuter rail lines were paused and dozens of flights were diverted from New Delhi’s international airport as the storm blew into the city.

At least 42 people were killed in sprawling Uttar Pradesh state, which has a population of more than 210 million people, said government spokesman Avnish Awasthi. He said 50 people were injured when uprooted trees fell on houses, with 38 of those people admitted to hospitals. At least one more person was killed in New Delhi.

A large swath of Uttar Pradesh was also without electricity overnight because of broken power lines.

Rajesh Sharma, a senior state official, estimated that more than 120 million people in the state had been affected in some way.

“Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

 

“Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured.”

Separately, at least 13 people were killed by storms elsewhere in India, including nine in Andhra Pradesh and four in West Bengal.



Daniella Hankey

Daniella Hankey joined Newswatch as a Reporter. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to southern West Virginia from Florida to further pursue her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. Daniella was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Floridian. Her current interests include enjoying everything West Virginia has to offer, from outdoor adventures to the beautiful mountains and scenery. As a multi-trained journalist, Daniella is always prepared to cover the stories that matter to our viewers and help to keep her newly adopted community informed. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woaynewswatch.com


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