At least 90 people have died and another 160 were injured as heavy rain and a dust storm struck northern and western India overnight. Winds as strong as 80 mph destroyed homes, and lightning strikes were also deadly.
Some of the worst damage was reported in the city of Agra, where the famed Taj Mahal is located. More than 40 people were killed in the city when winds as high as 80 mph collapsed houses and brought down trees.
“Satellite imagery shows that a cluster of strong thunderstorms developed in northwest India and swept through northern parts of the country,” said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. “The storms were accompanied by high winds, which not only caused damage but also swept dust into the region.”
At least 64 people died and another 67 were injured in northern Uttar Pradesh state. In the western state of Rajasthan, 27 others died and another 100 were injured. Most deaths were caused by house collapses and lightning.
The rainstorm caught people by surprise as the monsoon season is still more than six weeks away. Uprooted trees flattened mud huts of the poor, Kumar said. Electricity supply and telephone lines were snapped in parts of Uttar Pradesh state.
But such sudden storms become the new normal.
More pictures and updates here: Weather.com