Storm kills at least 91, injures over 160 in India

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A house which collapsed in Agra on Thursday.

At least 183 others were injured as a massive duststorm Wednesday night, followed by thundershowers, snapped power lines and sent tin roofs and street hoardings flying in parts of eastern Rajasthan and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh. Vasundhara Raje took to Twitter and said, "Distressed after storm in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur".

The exact level of damage in Alwar, Jhunjhunu and Bikaner was yet to be confirmed, said officials. The weather department claimed it had issued a warning for western parts of UP, but neither the state government nor its disaster management department made arrangements to safeguard people or minimise damage.

In some places of Uttar Pradesh, orchard owners said nearly half of standing mango crop was damaged, which could push up prices in the domestic market.

Forty-three people died there as the wind speed touched 130kms/h, said Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh state.

46 in Agra district alone. Officials have said that most of the deaths were the result of collapsed homes. Many people died in their sleep after their homes were destroyed, he said. The ones who have been injured will receive Rs 50,000 each. At least 160 animals have been found dead so far.

"Heavy rains were also reported from some of these areas. If we see in general, then neither the rain nor the thunderstorm was that severe".

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"One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur", Hemant Kumar Gera, Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, said. The storm swept across Delhi too, but no loss or damages have been reported from the national capital.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan minister Gulab Chand Kataria has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to next of kin of those who died due to the severe dust storm. She directed officials to urgently undertake a survey and provide relief to the affected people.

A storm barrelled through a swathe of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, killing at least 109 people in a trail of destruction that brought down mud houses, uprooted trees and flattened crops, officials said.

Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said he was cancelling his birthday celebration on Thursday. We stand with the grieving families in this hour or grief.

T.P. Gupta of the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner's office told AFP the death toll was "unprecedented" from such a storm in the past 20 years.

In addition, officials added that electricity poles were uprooted in several areas, cutting off power supplies. The injured include three people from Ramnagar and five from Haldwani in Nainital district.

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