Rain hits Northern states, Over 100 animals dead in Jammu and Kashmir


New Delhi: Dust storm, rain and thunder hit parts of northern India yesterday, leaving at least 100 animals dead in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off homes in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla, but striking with less fury in other places.

Normal Life was disrupted in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting more bad weather today. In Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri, hailstorm preceded by heavy rains hit Thanamandi area in the evening, prompting authorities to launch a massive rescue operation, a senior official said.

Rajouri District Development Commissioner said there was no immediate report of loss of human life but over 110 small animals, mostly sheep and goats, perished.
An immediate amount of Rs. 3 lakh was sanctioned for assistance to affected families, a massive rescue operation was going on,”official said, adding hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the road due to accumulation of debris.

A severe storm, accompanied by hail and rain, hit Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh, while the higher reaches of the state experienced snowfall. The hailstorm triggered traffic jams, snapped power supply, uprooted trees and blew off roofs in parts of Shimla district. Rain water flooded the main roads and entered some buildings in state capital.

In Rajasthan, a dust storm hit places in Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions and isolated areas in Jaipur, Ajmer and Kota regions. Officials said no loss to life or major damage to property was reported till late evening. The Met department said many parts of the state could again see a dust storm or thunderstorm in the next 24 hours.

Strong winds hit Ajmer, Jaipur, Sikar and nearby areas in the morning leaving trees uprooted and sign boards damaged.

The Met department today warned that thunderstorms and squalls with a wind speed of up to 70 kmph are “very likely” in Uttarakhand and parts of eastern India tomorrow, signalling that the freak weather phenomenon over northern India has moved eastward.

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