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Deadly dust storms kill dozens in India

NEW DEHLI: At least 74 people have died and scores more injured in fierce dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The storms on Wednesday disrupted electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and killed livestock.
Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by intense bursts of lightning. Dust storms are common in this part of India during summer but loss of life on this scale is unusual.
The storms largely affected three districts in Rajasthan – Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur – where at least 29 people were killed. Officials say Alwar is worst affected. Schools in the district are closed. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, said officials were heading to affected areas to start relief work.
The state government has also announced that families of the dead will receive 400,000 rupees ($6,000; £4,413) as compensation.
Forty five people died in Uttar Pradesh, 36 of them in Agra district which is home to the Taj Mahal monument. Officials believe the death toll could increase. Falling trees and walls killed many people in the state.
The storm also hit the capital Delhi, more than 100km (62 miles) away, along with heavy rains late on Wednesday evening. Some 1,000 electricity poles in the city were overturned, officials at the state power distribution company were quoted as saying by NDTV.

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