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Two-minute Squall in Bihar Causes Devastation, Loss of Lives

Heavy machinery employed to clear debris caused by a severe storm on Tuesday morning.

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Patna: In a deadly early Tuesday morning thunderstorm, at least 20 people were reported dead from across the state as reports of properties and structure damages continued to pour in throughout the day making it one of the most devastating 120-second squalls in the history of Bihar.

{gallery}newsimages2017/may/050917_1{/gallery}In Patna, broken trees and electric poles could be seen from Danapur to Fatuha. Several homes were either partially or fully destroyed and a number of cars due to falling trees and other debris on them. On many busy roads, billboards and other signs had come crumbling down though no injury was reported on account of them.

A pontoon bridge in Danapur that connected Patna with the northern parts of Bihar also broke apart under strong wind and water current causing much inconvenience to commuters from both sides.

Pratyaya Amrit, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management, said the casualties were mostly the result of collapsing walls and ceilings, trees, and also lightning in many areas including Patna, Supaul, Darbhanga, Madhubani, and Araria.

The administration has announced Rs. 4 lakh to the victims of the thunderstorm, Amrit said.

Patna'ites on Tuesday woke up to loud thunder rumblings followed by the loss of power and sound of collapsing walls and thatched roofs. Those who were unfortunate enough to be on the roads were forced run for cover as trees and electric poles made crackling sound with wind gushing over 85 kmph making it nearly impossible to walk or drive.

As a result, several trains were either delayed or canceled along with a few flights at the Patna Airport.

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