At least 73 people were killed and scores injured in India’s Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh after a powerful squall and thunderstorms hit the states, local officials said Thursday.
The Wednesday night storm, accompanied by high-speed winds, lightning and thunder showers, felled trees and electricity poles, started fires and brought down roofs and temporary structures.
At least 46 deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh, 36 of them in Agra district, Abhishek Kumar, an official at the disaster control room in state capital Lucknow said.
At least 27 people died in Rajasthan’s eastern districts of Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur, SK Meena, an official at the Disaster Management Department of the Rajasthan government said.
Both officials said the toll could rise as more information came in. Agra and Bharatpur districts share a border.
Most of the deaths were caused by roofs collapsing, the officials said.
Disaster management teams were at work in high gear, Meena said. In many areas, fallen trees were blocking roads.
Dust storms accompanied by high-speed winds are common during summer in northern and eastern India.
Thunderstorms with gusty winds were expected Thursday across northern India, the Meteorological Department said in its forecast.