68 killed after dust storm leaves trail of destruction in north India

A tree that fell down in Agra during the dust storm on Thursday

A tree that fell down in Agra during the dust storm on Thursday

LUCKNOW, India-A powerful dust and rainstorm swept parts of northern and western India, killing 72 people and injuring more than 100 others as houses collapsed and trees toppled, officials said Thursday.

A natural disaster in the States of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have also led to loss of livestock and shortages of electricity, destroying many buildings. About 100 people were injured in the state, officials said.

Power supply and train traffic were affected after a number of trees were uprooted across the state and walls collapsed because of the high-speed windswhich were blowing at a speed of 132 km per hour.

He said almost 100 were injured in the disaster.

At least 45 people have been killed in Uttar Pradesh as dust storms engulfed large swathes of north India.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has asked officers in the affected districts to provide help to the injured.

Hemant Gera, head of Rajasthan's Disaster Management and Relief Department said emergency services are on alert and that people should not sleep outdoors.

Parliament vote falls short for Armenia's protest leader
Sargsyan led Armenia as president for 10 years until term limits forced him to step down and was made prime minister in mid-April. They also accuse Sarkisian and his dominant Republican Party of widespread corruption and failing to raise living standards.

Three districts in Rajasthan, a state popular with tourists for its heritage palaces and colourful culture, were hit the hardest.

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

The Uttar Pradesh government has also announced that families of the dead will receive 400,000 rupees ($6,000; £4,400) as compensation.

The Alwar power distribution company said it would take them at least two days to restore electricity to the area.

In view of the calamity, Congress National General Secretary Ashok Gehlot cancelled his birthday celebrations at his official residence in Jaipur.

"It can be called a freak incident", Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, said, "dust storms are usually not this intense nor do these systems cover such a large area".

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