Death due to storm, lightning climbs to 62 in UP

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Lucknow, May 3 (IANS) The death toll in the dust storm and lightning strikes at many places in Uttar Pradesh overnight has climbed up to 62, officials said on Thursday.

Of these, 43 are from the Taj city Agra. Another 47 persons have been injured in the Wednesday night disaster.

A total of 160 cattle died in different districts.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is campaigning for the BJP in Karnataka, has told officials to ensure rescue and relief work in the worst hit Agra, Bijnore, Bareilly, Unnao, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar and Rae Bareli districts.

Officials told IANS that the death toll could go up as full information on the extent of the tragedy was still pouring in.

Besides the 43 deaths from Agra, three people died each in Bijnore and Kanpur Dehat (Rural)and one each in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Chitrakoot, Rae Bareli, Unnao, Mathura, Amroha, Kannauj, Banda, Kanpur city, Sitapur, Sambhal and Mirzapur.

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Of the casualties, many have been caused by lightning, which struck at many places after the dust storm settled down. Rains also lashed many places after the storm.

The Regional Met office has warned of a second spell of dust storm in many districts of Uttar Pradesh, following which an alert has been sounded by the government.

According to a letter from regional Met Director J.P. Gupta to the Relief Commissioner, thunderstorms accompanied by gutsy winds were very likely in Gorakhpur, Ballia, Mau, Ghazipur, Ambedkarnagar, Sant Kabeernagar, Basti, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Gonda, Balrampur, Sharawasti, Sitapur, Bahraich, Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Pilibhit, Rampur, Bareilly, Budayun, Aligarh, Etah, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura, Noida, Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore and Baghpat.

Massive rains were also expected in some places.

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Gupta told IANS that there was no likelihood of the storm affecting the state capital, however.



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