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17 April 2024

At least 18 killed as fresh storms hit north India

Photo: AFP


Fresh wind storms swept across northern India killing at least 18 people and leaving a trail of damage, officials said Saturday.

The latest in a series of freak storms that have left hundreds dead battered Uttar Pradesh state late Friday with winds of 100 kilometers (60 miles) an hour toppling walls, power pylons and thousands of trees.

Sixteen people died in the state, according to T.P. Gupta, a spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh disaster management department. He said most of the deaths were caused by falling trees and walls.

There was one more death blamed on the storm in New Delhi and another in the northern city of Chandigarh.

India's most populous state has been battered by storms since April that have killed more than 200 people. More than 100 have died elsewhere in the country from the dust and wind storms.

Storms are customary during the summer months but the intensity and death toll has been higher than normal this year.

The Indian Meteorological Department has warned that more storms could hit in coming days as temperatures soar across the country ahead of the annual monsoon season.

The temperature in Rajasthan's Churu district hit 49.7 Celsius (121 Fahrenheit) on Friday, according to private weather forecaster Skymet.

The monsoon arrived in the southern state of Kerala on Tuesday and should bring cooler weather as it moves north, weather experts said.