Heavy rains and thuderstorms wreaked havoc on Wednesday night, claiming at least five lives in Bharatpur and 11 in Dholpur district of Rajasthan. Among those killed in Dholpur, five were children. Also, more than 100 people have been injured during the heavy rain and dust storm.
Thousands of trees were uprooted and water clogged the roads as heavy rains lashed both the districts on Wednesday night. Train movements came to a standstiil on the Agra-Dholpur line, causing the trains to stop for almost three hours.
The Indian Meteorological Department had forecast the possibility of a rain or thunderstorm or duststorm in Eastern Rajasthan. The phone network was disrupted in the region after the hailstorm. Hospitals in Bharatpur and Dholpur are full of patients after several people injured in rain-related mishaps.
In Uttar Pradesh, rains claimed eight lives in Agra, four in Mathura and two in Firozabad.
Hailstorm in National Capital Region and Punjab damaged crops that were ready to be harvested. Unprecedented rains have already damaged the harvesting process by a week, say farmers.
Here are the latest updates around the heavy rains and hailstorm that last several districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, leading to many casualties:
Five children die in Dholpur: Five children died in an unprecedented rain in Rajasthan's Dholpur district on Wednesday. “Most of these deaths happened due to the collapse of houses in the storm," confirmed a senior official. Heavy rainfall with thunderstorm collapsed the walls of thatched huts in the village.
Taj Mahal complex damaged: The iconic Taj Mahal's gates damaged in an overnight thunderstorm in Agra. Heavy windfall brought down pillars of the royal and southern gates of the Taj Mahal, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 12-feet metal pillar at the entry gate, referred to as Darwaza-e-Rauza collapsed. Southern gate was also damaged and a portion of the wall of Rewti Ka Bada was affected as a tree fell on it. “We are assessing the damage and restoration measures would be planned accordingly after having full details of damage,” an official said.
Loss of lives in Bharatpur, too: In Bharatpur, the dead have been identified as Vishambhar Singh, 58, Kamla Devi, Arun Singh, 25, Ram Shri Devi, 70, and Yogesh Kushwaha, 32. In Dholpur, the five dead are: Punam, 7, Manisha, 4, Matlana, 5, and her brother Shakti, 1, and Mukesh Kushwaha, 10. Others are Suman Devi, 35, and Guddi Devi, 35. All of them died due to the house collapse.
Bharatpur district collector Narendra Kumar Gupta announced compensation of Rs 50,000 each for the families who have lost their closed ones in the heavy rainfall. The district collectors had been assigned to assess the damage in the area.
The dust storm damaged the electricity in the Bharatpur area. “We have asked staff of the electricity department to repair power lines soon to resume power supply in the district,” an official said.
IMD forecast: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted the possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust storm in Eastern Rajasthan for Wednesday. Harsh weather is expected to continue till Friday, Met Department confirmed. Maximum temperatures will not exceed 37 degrees Celsius in the coming week, says the IMD.
Several farmers are protesting crop loses due to hailstorm and today many blocked the Mathura Expressway, reports news agency ANI. "There is nothing left now, more than 80 per cent of the crop has been destroyed," say farmers.