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24 killed, over 100 injured as dust storm wreaks havoc

At least 24 were killed and more than 100 injured in different parts of Rajasthan as a high-speed dust storm on Wednesday night wreaked havoc in Bharatpur, Alwar and Dholpur districts and left a trail of destruction, uprooting hundreds of trees and electricity poles.

Houses collapsed, electricity poles and trees were uprooted as the severe dust storm swept the Matysya region. “Till 3 am, 15 people died due to the disaster, including 8 in Bharatpur, 3 each in Dholpur and Alwar and one in Jhunjhunu.

The toll is likely to rise,” Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera said. A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service, he said.

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.

In view of the calamity, Congress National General Secretary Ashok Gehlot cancelled his birthday celebrations at his official residence in Jaipur.

“We are extremely grieved at the loss of lives in the state and stand with the victims in this hour of tragedyI cancel all celebrations at my residence today.

Blood donation camps and Janhit programs can be continued by organisers,” he said.