Powerful storms kill at least 40 across northern India
LUCKNOW, India – The Associated Press
Powerful wind and rain storms swept across northern India, demolishing houses, uprooting trees and killing at least 40 people as winds turned the skies brown with dust and sand, officials said May 14.
Most of the deaths occurred when winds and falling trees caused buildings to collapse, leaving people buried in the wreckage. In the town of Bareilly, the minaret of a mosque fell on a group of people taking shelter in the courtyard, killing five of them. Three more were injured in the incident.
Meteorological officials say winds reached up to 109 kilometers per hour on May 13. Trains and commuter rail lines were paused and dozens of flights were diverted from New Delhi’s international airport as the storm blew into the city.
At least 38 people were killed in sprawling Uttar Pradesh state, which has a population of more than 210 million people, said government spokesman Avnish Awasthi. He said 50 people had been injured when uprooted trees fell on houses, with 38 of those people admitted to hospitals. At least two more people were killed in New Delhi.
“Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet. “Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured.”