Powerful storms kill at least 43 across northern India

LUCKNOW, India — Powerful winds and rainstorms swept across a crowded swath of northern India, demolishing houses, uprooting trees and killing at least 43 people as the winds turned the skies brown with dust and sand, officials said Monday.

Most of the deaths occurred when wind and falling trees caused buildings to collapse, leaving people buried in the wreckage. In the town of Bareilly, the minaret of a mosque fell on a group of people taking shelter in a neighbouring courtyard, killing eight. In another town, one man was killed when he was hit by a billboard that had been blown loose. Along highways, large trucks were pushed over by the winds, crushing cars and motorcycles beneath them.

Less than two weeks ago, similar storms caused 134 deaths and injured another 400. The extreme weather comes amid withering summer heat, and approaching monsoon rains.

“These storms are not unusual at this time of the year,” said J.P. Gupta, the meteorological office director for Uttar Pradesh state. “But the wind speed this year is a bit abnormal.”

Winds reached speeds 109 kilometres (68 miles) per hour Sunday, officials said. Trains and commuter rail lines were paused and dozens of flights were diverted from New Delhi’s international airport as the storm blew into the city.

At least 42 people were killed in sprawling Uttar Pradesh state, which has a population of more than 210 million people, said government spokesman Avnish Awasthi. He said 50 people were injured when uprooted trees fell on houses, with 38 of those people admitted to hospitals. At least one more person was killed in New Delhi.

A large swath of Uttar Pradesh was also without electricity overnight because of broken power lines.

Rajesh Sharma, a senior state official, estimated that more than 120 million people in the state had been affected in some way.

“Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet. “Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured.”

Separately, at least 13 people were killed by storms elsewhere in India, including nine in Andhra Pradesh and four in West Bengal.

Biswajeet Banerjee, The Associated Press

Just Posted

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read