Lightning strikes and powerful dust storms across the country have killed at least 116 people and injured more than 250. The storms were caused by a collision of rival eastern and western weather systems over the humid northern plains. Walls, trees and electricity pylons were torn down in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab states. The death toll is expected to rise. Everyone was scared and running for cover, people say.
Collapsed houses killed people
The southern state of Andhra Pradesh was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes in a matter of hours, disaster officials said Thursday. Agra district of Uttar Pradesh was one of the worst hit by the dust clouds, with more than 40 people killed. The monument Taj Mahal escaped damage. The state government released funds to compensate the families of those killed or for damage. About $6,000 would be given to the families of each of the dead. Many people in India sleep outside during the summer months to escape the high temperatures. Rescuers appreciated the death toll “unprecedented” from such a storm in the past 20 years. The India Meteorological Department warned there would be more storms over a wider area up to Saturday.