At least 61 killed as fierce dust storms strike India, death toll over 200

At least 61 killed as fierce dust storms strike India, death toll over 200

Fierce dust storms across northern India left at least 61 people dead on Sunday, May 13, 2018, bringing the total death toll to at least 202 since the start of the month. The weather office has warned of more thunderstorms in north, north-east and parts of south India over the next two days.

Wind speeds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph) and lightning devastated numerous villages, uprooting trees, bringing down homes and leaving at least 61 people dead and dozens injured since Sunday evening, May 13, according to BBC.

The highest death toll was reported in Uttar Pradesh, where more than 30 were injured and 39 killed on Sunday, bringing the state's dust storm death toll to 109 since the start of the month. BBC quoted officials as saying that casualties could go up further.

The storm affected both land and air traffic, officials said, adding that more than 70 incoming flights were diverted from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Similar unseasonal powerful dust storms and thundershowers in the past two weeks have left at least 202 people dead.

IMD meteorologists said more thunderstorms in north, north-east and parts of south India are expected over the next two days.

India's Monsoon or rainy season usually begins in July and ends in September.

Featured image credit: ANI

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