Fierce thunderstorms have uprooted trees and destroyed hundreds of homes, crushing dozens of people to death and injuring scores of others in northern India.

At least 43 people were killed and 70 hurt in the deluge and squalls.

The powerful storms slashed a wide swath across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, uprooting trees and power pylons and damaging homes and crops.

In eastern Uttar Pradesh, 21 people were killed and about 50 others injured when heavy rains lashed the region, police spokesman Surendra Srivastava said.

"A majority of the victims were crushed under uprooted trees or when houses collapsed due to the squall,'' he said.

In neighboring Bihar, 22 people died after strong winds blew off the roofs of houses and toppled trees and electricity poles, said Devesh Chandra Thakur, the state's disaster management minister.

Large parts of the state, including the capital Patna, were hit by power outages that lasted more than 10 hours.

Bihar's meteorological department chief, Animesh Chandra, said the high-velocity winds and rain storms were a normal occurrence in the run-up to the annual monsoon season that starts in June.

Mr Srivastava said the highest casualties in Uttar Pradesh were reported from the city of Jaunpur, where 11 people were killed on Friday.

"Among those who died were four people traveling in a car who were killed when a tree fell on them. Three others died when a house collapsed in Jaunpur,'' Mr Srivastava said.

Jaunpur is 250 kilometres southeast of the state capital, Lucknow.

Source: The Associated Press