Thunderstorms kill 12 in UP as bad weather heads eastward

At least 12 people have been killed in thunderstorms, which lashed parts of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, officials said, while some reports put the number of casualties at 16.

With the weather disturbance heading eastwards, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail at isolated places over West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Jhharkhand and Bihar today.  Heavy rain is also expected at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, south interior Karnataka and Kerala.
"Four deaths were reported from Etawah, three from Mathura, and one death each from Agra, Aligarh, Firozabad and Kanpur Rural last night," principal secretary for information Avanish Awasthi told PTI.
Another death was reported earlier in the evening from Hathras district, where a 15-year-old boy was struck by lightning while returning from the fields in Mohabbatpura village. A hailstorm struck Hathras in the evening.
According to the IMD forecast, there has been a significant decrease in thunderstorm activity over north-west India, which will result in a rise in temperature by 2-3 degree Celsius during next two days. 
The Met said on Wednesday the wind speed observed was well within the range of what it had forecast.
Dust storms, rain and thunder left at least 100 animals dead in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, while uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off homes in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla on Monday.
Four people were injured as severe winds and rain lashed parts of Etawah district. Strong winds also hit the state capital.
Awasthi said district magistrates have been asked to distribute relief among the storm-hit people immediately.
Thunderstorms and lightning on 2 and 3 May had killed at least 134 people and injured more than 400 in five states, the home ministry had said (See: Storm alerts continue in several states; death toll rises by 4).
Uttar Pradesh was the hardest hit with 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district. About 100 people were killed then in the state as mud houses collapsed, trees were uprooted and electricity cables snapped.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had faced criticism then for not heading back immediately from the Karnataka election campaign, as news of the casualties poured in from his own state.
Since the 2-3 May thunderstorms, the India Meteorological Department had issued more bad weather alerts for northern India states. Parts of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi experienced rain and strong winds on Tuesday.