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India dust storms: More than 125 killed as storms continue


At least 125 people are now reported to have died in fierce dust storms in northern India, with officials warning of more bad weather to come.

High-speed winds and lightning have devastated many villages, brought down walls and left scores injured.

A spokesperson for the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner's office told AFP the death toll was the highest from such storms in at least 20 years.

Officials have said the death toll could rise over the coming days.


REUTERS

India's Meteorological Department said more storms were likely across a wider area before the weekend.

"People should be alert," the relief commissioner's office told AFP.

In the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the storm has brought down electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and killed livestock.

The district of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, home of the Taj Mahal monument, was one of the areas worst hit.

The storms also affected three districts in neighbouring Rajasthan state - Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur.

Many of the dead were sleeping indoors when their houses collapsed after being struck by lightning or gusts of wind.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was saddened by the loss of life.

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