Scenes From India's Deadly Dust Storm - Pacific Standard

Scenes From India's Deadly Dust Storm

A vicious dust storm ripped through northern India, causing chaos in the streets.
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A dust storm tore across northern India on Wednesday, killing at least 143 people as powerful winds ripped through the region, flattening trees and walls. Officials warn the death toll could rise as more bodies are found.

Dust storms are not uncommon for this time of year in India; winds pick up desert sands from Iran and whip them across Pakistan and India at high speeds. What's unique about this storm, however, is the high death toll and incredible speed of the wind: 78 miles per hour. (A Category 1 hurricane clocks in at 74 miles per hour.)

Though the storm has already caused utter devastation, forecasters in India warn that more strong winds could soon hit the region in a second bout of dusty chaos.

The Uttar Pradesh government announced that families of those who died would receive 400,000 rupees ($6,000), BBC reports.

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People walk under heavy rainfall in the northern hill town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh state on May 2nd, 2018.

People walk under heavy rainfall in the northern hill town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh state on May 2nd, 2018.

An Indian traffic policeman covers his face as he stands on duty during a dust storm in New Delhi on May 2nd, 2018.

An Indian traffic policeman covers his face as he stands on duty during a dust storm in New Delhi on May 2nd, 2018.

An auto rickshaw on a road during a dust storm in Mathura, in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, on May 2nd, 2018.

An auto rickshaw on a road during a dust storm in Mathura, in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, on May 2nd, 2018.

Neighbors look through the wedding pictures of 24-year-old Sunil Kumar, who died after getting crushed under the debris of a ceiling that fell in heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018.

Neighbors look through the wedding pictures of 24-year-old Sunil Kumar, who died after getting crushed under the debris of a ceiling that fell in heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018.

Surrender Kumar, 35, stands on the debris of his house caused by heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018. Kumar lost his 10-year-old son Vivek Kumar and his five-year-old nephew in the accident.

Surrender Kumar, 35, stands on the debris of his house caused by heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018. Kumar lost his 10-year-old son Vivek Kumar and his five-year-old nephew in the accident.

A man shows a photo of Gautam Singh, 26, who died with 24-year-old Sunil Kumar after getting crushed under the debris of a ceiling that fell in heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018.

A man shows a photo of Gautam Singh, 26, who died with 24-year-old Sunil Kumar after getting crushed under the debris of a ceiling that fell in heavy storm winds in Kheragarh on the outskirts of Agra on May 4th, 2018.

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