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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The dust of destruction

Por Olivia Rosario Rodríguez

The devastating weather events continue to plague the world this time citizens of India were affected. Fierce winds and lightning created by a powerful storm of dust and sand have killed 101 people in north-western India recently. According to local authorities, another estimate 250 people have been injured due to the weather phenomenon.

In the state of Rajasthan, at least 31 people were killed and about 120 wounded after winds knocked down more than 8,000 electricity poles and uprooted hundreds of trees. According to T. Ravi Kant, divisional commissioner of the Jaipur district, the situation there has led to widespread cuts in electricity and water shortages. Most of the deaths occurred after the walls and roofs of houses collapsed in the middle of the night.

On the other hand, in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, the death toll was at least 64 and the vast majority of those deaths occurred in the city of Agra, where so far has confirmed the death of 43 people.

In that region, the high number of victims is the result of people who were trapped under fallen debris. "Many houses collapsed due to high-intensity winds, or the trees fell on the houses," said Sanjay Kumar, relief commissioner of the disaster management authority in the zone.

Uttar Pradesh state government has issued an alert for the next 48 hours in anticipation of an increase in the number of deaths or injuries provoked by the storm.

The prime minister's office said in a statement on Twitter that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was saddened by the lives lost due to the terrible storm. The president explained that he has asked the officials to coordinate with the state governments and work to help those affected.

The recent meteorological information about India is alarming because the events are just the initial stages of the beginning of its annual summer monsoons. According to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, afternoon storms and periods of torrential rains have been increasingly frequent in this last week in India. The specialist added that the region has had several years of rains below the average during the summer monsoons, which increases the chances of dust and sand being dragged by strong winds.