A high-intensity squall followed by thunder showers hit parts of Rajasthan overnight, leaving at least 15 people dead and several others injured, an official said on Thursday, reports said.
Houses collapsed, electricity poles and trees were uprooted as the severe dust storm swept the Matysya region.
“Till 3 am, 15 people died due to the disaster, including eight in Bharatpur, three each in Dholpur and Alwar and one in Jhunjhunu. The toll is likely to rise,” Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief, Hemant Kumar Gera, said.
A detailed report of the disaster is awaited even as relief and rescue teams have been pressed into service, he said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and said authorities concerned in the districts had been directed to ensure all possible help to victims.
“Condolence for families who lost their loved ones,” she said on Twitter.
In view of the calamity, Congress National General Secretary Ashok Gehlot cancelled his birthday celebrations at his official residence in Jaipur.
“We are extremely grieved at the loss of lives in the state and stand with the victims in this hour of tragedy…I cancel all celebrations at my residence. Blood donation camps and Janhit programs can be continued by organisers,” he said.