Dust storms and squalls have killed more than 120 people, mainly in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Forecasters are expecting more bad weather at the weekend.
Winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph), accompanied by rain and thunder, tore through the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, killing more than 120 people on Wednesday and Thursday.
Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by lightning or wind.
The sandstorms and squalls also destroyed hundreds of huts, uprooted trees, caused power cuts and major damage to crops and livestock.
Taj Mahal unharmed
The district of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, was hit particularly hard. Forty-three people died there, but the monument was unaffected.
On Thursday, workers and residents began clearing uprooted trees and rubble, as weather forecasters warned of more bad weather ahead. Another powerful dust storm is expected to sweep parts of the two states this weekend.
Storms and lightning strikes kill thousands of people every year in India. This series of storms was one of the most severe in recent decades. It took many by surprise as the monsoon season is still six weeks away.
ng/msh (AP, AFP)