Major dust storm kills 98 in India

Officials say the storm injured at least 143 people - and the death toll should rise

Major dust storm kills 98 in India

A man wraps a scarf around his nose as a dust storm envelops the city in New Delhi, India, 02-05-2018. Image: Manish Swarup/AP/Press Association Images

A powerful dust storm has killed 98 people and injured 143 more in north India.

According to the Hindustan Times, the storms uprooted trees and electricity poles in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday night.

Officials said trees and walls were brought down during the overnight storm, and the death toll may rise.

Rajasthan's chief minister Vasundhara Raje tweeted: "Have directed Ministers and concerned officials to affected areas to begin relief work immediately and restore utilities.

"An unfortunate incident, we have been working closely with local authorities to mitigate the situation."

The Alwar power distribution company said it would take them at least two days to restore electricity to the area.

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

TP Gupta of the Uttar Pradeh relief commissioner's office said: "We can confirm at least 46 deaths, 41 injuries from around 40 of the state's 75 districts."

According to officials, most deaths have happened in homes, after they collapsed.

Relief commissioner Sanjay Kumar said 36 people died in Agra, when wind speed hit 130km (80m) per hour.

At least 27 died in Rajasthan.