A powerful dust storm ripped through northern India, killing more than 100 people and toppling houses, trees and electricity poles, government officials said.
The dust storm swept across several parts of western and northern India, injuring hundreds in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand and leaving a trail of destruction and disrupting power supply in Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh as well.
“A western disturbance-induced cyclonic circulation, high moisture brought by easterly winds and the recent spell of unusually high temperatures caused these weather conditions,” Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior official at India Meteorological Department (IMD), said.
Hemant Gera, secretary for disaster management and relief in Rajasthan, told the BBCthat this is the worst damage he has seen in his 20 years in office.
Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce said that “a cluster of strong thunderstorms developed in northwest India and swept through northern parts of the country. The storms were accompanied by high winds, which not only caused damage but also swept dust into the region.”
Strong storms are again possible in the affected areas on Friday, AccuWeather predicted. Largely dry conditions are expected to return by the weekend, though a stray thunderstorm cannot be ruled out.