Guwahati, Tuesday, April 10, 2012
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Squalls, hailstorm kill seven in Tripura

 AGARTALA, April 10 (IANS): At least seven people, including two children and an elderly man, were killed and over 30 injured as cyclonic storms accompanied by rains lashing several parts of Tripura since Friday left behind a trail of devastation, officials said here Tuesday.

"Two people at Mohanpur, a 72-year-old man at Bishalgarh in western Tripura, two young people including a girl in Amarpur and another middle aged man in Belonia in southern Tripura were killed in separate incidents of lightning since Saturday night," an official told reporters.

A six-year-old boy was electrocuted when live electrical wires snapped by the cyclonic storm struck him at Dharmanagar in northern Tripura.

Thirty more people, including women and children, were wounded in these incidents and have been shifted to government hospitals, the official said.

The pre-monsoon rains accompanied by strong winds and hailstorm, also damaged more than 1,000 houses and killed many head of cattle across Tripura during the past five days.

Southern Tripura's Amarpur bore the worst brunt of the thunderstorm where over 200 kuccha houses and crops were severely damaged Monday night, the official added.

Hundreds of trees, telephone and electric poles were uprooted in the seasonal nor-wester and also severely affected the movement of vehicles.

"Civil defence workers and district officials are busy providing relief. Telecommunications and power corporation personnel are working to restore communication lines and power supply," acting chief minister Manik Dey said.

He said that the district administrations have sanctioned Rs.1,000 to each affected family as immediate assistance.

The Meteorological department in Agartala Tuesday forecast rains and cyclonic storms in the next 48 hours.

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