Rajasthan / Uttar Pradesh [India], May 3 (ANI): More than 100 people have been killed in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, owing to severe dust storms which hit several parts of western and northern India on Wednesday.
In Uttar Pradesh alone, the high-intensity dust storm left 70 people dead, 83 injured and 105 domesticated animals killed with Agra, Bijnor, Bareli, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao among the worst affected.
The storms also caused widespread damage to private and public property, as many houses were left battered and trees uprooted.
Electricity connection in many areas was also severed as power lines and electricity poles were damaged.
Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives due to dust storms, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has ordered a compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased in the state.
Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje directed the officials to visit the affected areas to begin relief work.
"We have directed Ministers and concerned officials to affected areas to begin relief work immediately and restore utilities. An unfortunate incident, we have been working closely with local authorities to mitigate the situation," Raje tweeted.
Authorities have been directed to provide relief in all affected areas within the next 24 hours.
According to media reports, Hemant Kumar Gera, Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, said contingency funds have been released to the respective district administration.
He said Rs 4 lakh will be given to family members of deceased, Rs 2 lakh to persons sustaining 60 per cent injuries and Rs 60,000 thousand to people with 40 to 50 per cent injuries.
Taking note of the havoc caused by the dust storm in UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officers concerned to personally monitor relief operations and provide all necessary medical facilities to the affected.
Adityanath also said that no laxity will be tolerated in providing succour to the needy. He announced a compensation of up to Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased in the state while those injured will receive Rs 50,000 each. (ANI)