A massive storm swept through India’s Bihar state killing at least 48 people and left thousands of villagers homeless, according to government officials. The storm struck the small village late on Tuesday night, with wind speeds of about 50 miles per hour and flooded the area with a torrential downpour. The storm uprooted trees, electricity poles, tore up farmland and crops, and leveled nearly 25,000 mud-and-thatch houses.
State officials claim that 12 of Bihar’s 38 districts were affected by the storm, including Saharsa, Madhepura, and Purnia. State disaster management official Anirrudh Kumar stated local authorities are rushing food and water to those in the affected areas. The storm ripped up many crops in the area, causing many farmers to lose their only mean of income. Assessing the final damage levels of the village has been hindered by downed communications lines and villages have been isolated by fallen trees and other debris.
Govenor Keshari Nath Tripathi of the Bihar district has asked India’s government to give 400,000 rupees, or around 6,300 U.S. dollars, in monetary compensation to the families of those affected. According to state weather officials, the storm developed so quickly that there was not enough time to issue a sufficient warning.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Divya Pandey/IFPRI – Flickr License