27 dead after high-intensity dust storm hits Rajasthan; power cables snapped

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In Rajasthan, 27 people were killed and several injured after a powerful dust storm swept through the state. In fact, thunderclouds developed over northwest parts of Rajasthan and moved towards the east along the trough which was extending up to East Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Taj Mahal is in Agra city but officials said the monument escaped damage.

The gusty winds toppled and fell trees at many places, blocking portions of roads, causing traffic jams in several areas.

State Revenue and Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar on Thursday informed that over 40 people.

Most deaths occurred in house collapse due to the storm, said media reports quoting officials in Rajasthan.

"Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has spoken to Commissioner Agra division and directed him that relief be distributed by the evening and senior officers visit the injured in hospitals", Principal Secretary, Information, Avanish Awasthi said.

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The explosion occurred as police and a SWAT team were outside the barn, authorities said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.

The effect of the dust storm was felt in parts of Delhi too. He added, "We have alerted health department officials, including doctors, power department and district administration officials to provide treatment to those injured and fix the damage caused by the storm in the district".

As reported by Hindustan Times, 12 people were killed in Bharatpur, four in Alwar, 11 in Dholpur and one each in Jhunjhunu and Bikaner.

Charan Singh, a scientist at Indian Meteorological department, said winds of 132 kph hit Agra while even in the capital, Delhi, there were winds of 59 kph.

The state government quickly released funds to compensate the families of those killed or suffered damage.

Weather forecasting app, Skymet had predicted dust storm and thundershower activities over Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, North Rajasthan and West Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. My heartfelt condolences to the families.

Writing on Twitter, Rajasthan's Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said: "Have directed Ministers and concerned officials to affected areas to begin relief work immediately and restore utilities".