Dust storm sweeps through Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan; a heavy price paid for soil mismanagement

A deadly dust storm swept across India for the last couple of days, injuring hundreds and leaving more than 100 people dead in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Besides destroying fields, the dust storm uprooted trees, destroyed property, and disrupted power supply in Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

A dust storm is a natural phenomenon that generally takes place in arid and semi-arid regions. It happens when strong winds blow loose dust particles from a dry surface. Combine with loose dust, strong wind causes the hazardous phenomenon. Dust storms change the salt levels of different areas by blowing dust or sand particles from dry surfaces and deposit them in the seas and oceans.

The frequency of dust storms depends on the lack of efficient soil management. The crop rotation system in agriculture holds the integrity of particles in soils and helps the soil to recuperate according to the weather conditions. But, after the advent of the industrial mode of agriculture, farmers have neglected the crop rotation system, which in turn devoid the drained the soil of its composure. This led to intense erosion that results in the frequent and large scale dust storms.

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