Over 100 people were killed and around 180 injured after a high-velocity dust storm followed by thunder showers wreaked havoc in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night, leaving behind a trail of destruction.Trees and electricity poles were uprooted and mud houses collapsed in the high-intensity squall, officials said on Thursday.Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday directed officials to coordinate with the States to ensure speedy relief and rehabilitation of those affected.“Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Mr. Modi. In Uttar Pradesh, at least 70 people were killed and 83 injured, with Agra accounting for the maximum casualties — 43. Three persons each died in Bijnore and Kanpur Dehat, and two each in Saharanpur, Hamirpur, Kanpur Nagar and Mirzapur districts. One casualty each was reported from Bareilly, Pilibhit, Chitrakoot, Raebareli, Unnao, Mathura, Amroha, Kannauj, Banda, Kanpur, Sitapur, Sambhal, Etawah, Allahabad and Rampur.In Rajasthan, 16 people died in Bharatpur district, 10 in Dholpur and five in Alwar, while over 100 were injured in the storm that hit the region around 7 p.m.The worst period lasted about 45 minutes, according to reports from Dholpur, but the extent of the damage was known only in the morning.Another storm comingThe Meteorological Department has issued warnings that another dust storm may hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the next 48 hours due to the cyclonic circulation formation in the region.DMs on high alertUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued an advisory ordering all district magistrates to be on high alert. He has asked the district officials to calculate the losses and provide compensation to those affected urgently, a government spokesperson said.State Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has instructed the Commissioner of Agra division to ensure that relief is distributed in the affected areas by Thursday evening and senior officials visit the injured in hospitals, said U.P. Information Department principal secretary Awanish Awasthi. Power supply was cut off in many areas as the squall uprooted trees and snapped electricity cables. Officials said it was being gradually restored.Rajasthan declares natural disasterIn towns, the storm triggered traffic snarls and in rural areas there were reports of crops being damaged due to hailstorm. Farmers lost cattle and poultry. U.P. Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said 160 head of cattle were lost.Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who also holds the Disaster Management and Relief portfolio, said the storm has been included in the category of natural disasters for the first time in the State and funds to the tune of ₹2.55 crore have been sanctioned to the affected districts.Financial assistanceThe next of kin of each deceased in Rajasthan will get financial assistance of ₹4 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and directed the Ministers and officers concerned to begin the relief work immediately and restore utilities.Power discoms have launched action on a war-footing to restore electricity supply in the affected areas, while the administration has ordered a survey of damaged properties.Major destruction was reported from Alwar district, where trees fell and power cables snapped, plunging a number of areas into darkness. In Dholpur district, relief camps have been opened for the villagers whose houses were destroyed.
Low-scoring and edge of the seat exciting matches don’t mix. But Saturday’s ODI at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg not only mixed but gelled rather well with India winning the match by one run. SCOREWith this win India have squared the five-match ODI series 1-1.Man-of-the-Match Munaf Patel. APAnd the result wouldn’t have been so had India bowlers not come good at death against host South Africa.India batsmen after scoring a meagre 190 had left a lot to be done by the bowlers and still they performed.India’s Munaf Patel took the cake finishing with figures of 8-0-29-4. Undoubtedly, the wickets of openers Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.The wickets though widely spaced brought about the desired result. Amla fell early but Smith’s wicket came towards the end. In a way it was Smith’s wicket that proved to be the turning point of the match.Munaf knew that early wickets can make the difference in an ODI and he struck really early. He scalped Hashim Amla on 4 with a ball that came in from the off to take the edge of his bat and settle in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gloves behind the stumps. The hosts were 7/1 at this juncture.Still, a target of 191 was an easy call for South Africa batsmen. And Colin Ingram and Graeme Smith wanted to make sure that it stayed easy. The two batted on to numb the Indian bowling attack and kept the Protea scoreboard ticking.advertisementThe duo had put on 59 runs for the second wicket before Harbhajan Singh claimed Ingram on 25 with the umpire adjudging him LBW even as the South Africa score was 66/2.Unfortunately for the hosts AB de Villiers, who wasn’t looking confident, fell to Ashish Nehra on eight.Later, Rohit Sharma accounted for J.P. Duminy on 13 as the South Africa score was 120/4.But, Smith was still at the crease and had found his lost form. Finally, Munaf Patel sent him back on 77 with an inside edge from his bat crashing into his stumps.At death, Zaheer Khan claimed David Miller and Johan Botha to bring India within striking distance of a victory.And then Dale Steyn’s run out and Morne Morkel’s wicket added to the excitement, but again it was Munaf who performed the final act when the hosts were just two runs away from a win with just one wicket in hand.A short ball saw tail-ender Wayne Parnell go for a big hit but Yuvraj Singh caught him at point and that was the end of South Africa batting. They could only manage 189 on board.Lonwabo Tsotsobe. APEarlier Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who had claimed four wickets in the first ODI in Durban, came up with another four-wicket haul to reduce India to 190 all out.He scalped opener Murali Vijay, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina to nip in bud any designs that the visiting batsmen had of scoring at a brisk pace.After scalping opener Murali Vijay early, Tsotsobe came back to send Yuvraj Singh packing on 53, breaking the 83-run fourth wicket partnership between him and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Yuvraj went for a big hit but failed to cross the boundary and Dale Steyn lapped it up in the deep as India score read 150/4.That wicket started the slide as batsmen kept paying the crease quick visits.Suresh Raina, who picked up from where Yuvraj Singh had left too fell after staying in the middle for a few minutes. He had put 11 on board before Tsotsobe claimed his third wicket of the day. India score then was a poor 169/5 in 41.1 overs.Soon, he struck again to send skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni back on 38. India now were 172/6 with the tail popping up. And the tail managed to put just 18 runs before heading back to the pavilion.Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli too could not stay in the middle for long.Tendulkar fell in the 19th over when the India total was 67/3. Off spinner Johan Botha foxed Tendulkar with a turner as the batting maestro failed to read his delivery that turned in sharply from the off stump line. He fell for 24 with an edge from his bat striking against the stumps.Virat Kohli, who had scored a resolute half-century in the first ODI in Durban, was run out by David Miller in Morne Morkel’s over. He fell on 22.India skipper M.S. Dhoni had won the toss and elected to bat.The two teams now meet at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday.advertisement