As the death toll due to the thunderstorm in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan reached 124, the Centre on Friday issued a fresh warning about thunderstorms accompanied by high-speed winds across several states for the next four days.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 73 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh and 91 others were injured and in total, more than 300 people were injured in five states because of the thunderstorm.
Most of the deaths and injuries in UP took place in Agra, the MHA spokesperson said. In Rajasthan, altogether 35 people were killed and 206 injured, while eight were killed in Telangana, six in Uttarakhand and two in Punjab. Nearly 100 people were injured in Telangana, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
Following the thunderstorm at least 12,000 electric poles were uprooted and 2,500 transformers damaged in the affected states.
Issuing a fresh advisory, the Indian Meteorological Department said thunderstorms were likely at isolated places in North-East while thunderstorms accompanied by winds were expected in northern and central India and Telangana, Rayalaseema, north coastal Andhra Pradesh, interior Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
“Under the influence of current Western Disturbance (WD) and a fresh WD from May 5, fairly widespread precipitation very likely to occur over J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with thunderstorms accompanied with winds at isolated places,” said IMD.
Dr K Sathi Devi, Head, National Weather Forecasting Centre said several days of severe heating in plains and pumping of pre-monsoon moisture resulted in favourable meteorological conditions for severe dust storm and thunderstorm.
“We have been issuing visories well in advance about the severity of dust storms and these are region-specific conditions for authorities.” Heat wave is expected to intensify in Vidharbha and West Rajasthan in coming days.
Meanwhile, there were reports that the Doppler radar in the Jaipur Met office, a critical component in the accurate forecasting of weather events, was not working the night of May 2 when a high velocity dust storm cut a swathe of destruction through parts of Rajasthan.
The doppler, a product of Finnish company Vaisala, was dysfunctional for the last 10 days, said Devendra Pradhan, additional director general of the India Meteorological Department.