Unseasonal rain, dust storm in Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP kill 32 people; PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia

Jaipur: Police personnel look on as people remove a fallen tree obstructing traffic, after a thunderstorm, in Jaipur, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Unseasonal rain and thundershower resulted in the deaths of at least 32 people across three states in the last 48 hours. At least 16 people were killed in Madhya Pradesh, six in Rajasthan and 10 in Gujarat, according to news agency ANI. The rough weather, according to PTI, was a result of Western Disturbance and winds with moisture from Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was deeply anguished by the loss of lives and announced an ex-gratia for the next of kin from the PM’s national relief fund. He further assured that all possible assistance will be given to those affected.

The prime minister in a tweet said: "Anguished by the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of Gujarat. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Authorities are monitoring the situation very closely. All possible assistance is being given to those affected."

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too expressed his condolences on the deaths. He tweeted, "Deeply pained and anguished by the loss of precious lives due to untimely rains and thunderstorms in Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat and certain other parts of the country. The Centre is ready to provide all possible assistance to the states affected by heavy rains and storm."

Earlier in the day, rain and dust storm was reported in some parts of north Gujarat and Saurashtra region.

"According to preliminary reports coming from different parts of the state, at least 10 people have lost their lives," G B Manglpara, the state government’s director (Relief), told PTI. "Most of the deaths were reported in North Gujarat due to lightning strike and falling of trees," he added.

According to an official, a portion of a tent erected for PM’s rally was damaged in the dust storm. Though the structure which is intended to provide shade to people and dignitaries on stage largely remained intact.

"The PM’s rally will take place as per schedule tomorrow afternoon. The storm damaged some portion of the dome as well as the decoration. It will be repaired soon," Gujarat Home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja was quoted as saying by PTI.

PM Modi is scheduled at address campaign rallies in Himmatnagar, Surendranagar and Anand on Wednesday and one at Amreli on Thursday.

In Rajasthan, gusty winds accompanied with rains affected normal life in the state. Several trees and electric poles were uprooted in different parts due to high-velocity winds of nearly 60 kmph. In Jhalawar, two children were killed in lightning strike and two others died when a wall collapsed. One person in Udaipur died due in a lightning strike whereas a man died due to a wall collapse in Jaipur. A compensation of Rs four lakh each has been announced for families of the victims.

with inputs from agencies