A severe dust storm followed by thunder showers hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night, killing over 111 people and 200 injured.
Houses collapsed and trees and poles were uprooted in the storm that also led to power outages.
Nearly 74 people were killed and 91 others were injured in Uttar Pradesh.
In UP, Agra was the worst hit where 43 people were killed and 51 were injured.
Besides Agra, the other affected districts were Bijnor, Bareli, Saharanpur, Pilibhit, Firozabad, Chitrakoot, Muzaffarnagar, Rae Bareli and Unnao.
In Rajasthan, 38 people died including 17 people in Bharatpur district. Over 100 people were injured.
Bharatpur district was the worst affected with 19 deaths. Nine people died in Alwar and eight in Dholpur.
“A few are undergoing primary treatment while others were discharged. One critical patient from Dholpur was referred to Jaipur,” he said.
A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service to clear debris and restore power supply, he said.
Gera said contigency funds have been released to the respective district administration. He said Rs 4 lakh will be given to family members of deceased, Rs 2 lakh to persons sustaining 60 per cent injuries and Rs 60,000 to people with 40 to 50 per cent injuries.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and said authorities concerned in the districts have been directed to ensure all possible help to victims. “Condolence for families who lost their loved ones,” she said on Twitter.
Taking note of the havoc caused by the dust storm in UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officers concerned to personally monitor relief operations and provide all
necessary medical facilities to the affected.
He also said that no laxity will be tolerated in providing aid to the needy.
(With inputs from PTI)