People in certain parts of northern India woke up to a violent weather that uprooted trees, electric poles, and homes, leaving 77 people dead and 143 injured.
As victims slept in the early hours of Thursday, an “apocalyptic” dust storm and lightning struck in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states. Most of the victims died when their homes collapsed from lightning strikes or when they were crushed by falling trees, local media reported. The storm was also responsible for killing livestock.
The worst-hit areas included Agra, Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur. At least 40 mud huts were destroyed by flames after lightning struck a village in Dholpur district.
The local government has launched a disaster relief effort and offered compensation to the victims. Vasundhara Raje, the chief minister of Rajasthan, offered condolences to the victims’ families and announced she had asked local authorities to do everything they can to help the survivors.
She tweeted: “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.”