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Rains, thunderstorm leave nearly 50 dead in four states

Centre closely monitoring situation, ready to help: Rajnath

Jaipur/Bhopal/Ahmedabad: Nearly 50 people were killed as rains coupled with thunderstorm and lightning hit several parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra overnight, officials said Wednesday.
The unseasonal rains and storm also caused damage to property and crops in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Rajasthan witnessed the maximum casualties with 21 people killed in rain-related incidents following by Madhya Pradesh where 15 were killed.
While 10 people were killed in Gujarat, three were killed in Maharashtra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter in the morning to express anguish over the loss of lives in the rains in Gujarat and announce relief.
Soon afterwards Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath hit out at the prime minister, accusing him of being concerned only about his home state Gujarat.
The PMO in a tweet later said,”PM @narendramodi has expressed grief at loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country”.
“An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to unseasonal rain & storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country has been approved from the PM’s National Relief Fund. Rs 50,000 each for the injured has also been approved,” the PMO said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government is closely monitoring the situation in rain-hit areas and is ready to provide all possible help to states affected by rains and thunderstorm.
In Jaipur, Rajasthan Relief Secretary Ashutosh A T Pednekar said 21 people died due to unseasonal rains. “4 deaths were reported in Jhalawar, Udaipur and Jaipur each, two each in Jalore and Bundi and one each in Baran, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Alwar and Hanumangarh,” he said. Compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each has been announced to the families of victims.
Another official said crops have suffered damage and the assessment is being done.
Several cattle were also killed in rain-related incidents.
Condoling the deaths, Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said in a tweet, “Deeply pained by loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of the country including Rajasthan. My thoughts and prayers are with bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured”.
Of the total 21 deaths, 7 are in Kota division.Heavy dust storm accompanied by moderate to heavy rains, thundershowers also lashed parts of Hadouti region (Kota division) on Tuesday causing damage to crops. Survey of crop damage is underway.
BJP candidate from the constituency Om Birla demanded the state government declare compensation to farmers for crop damage. Birla also blamed the state government for not issuing alert and taking measures to prevent the crop damage.
The department has predicted dust storm/thunderstorm accompanied with high velocity winds and lightning at a few places during the next 24 hours. (PTI)

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