At least 20 people dead due to lightning strikes in northern India
New Delhi, Jul 27 (EFE).- At least 20 people died in the last 48 hours from lightning storms caused by the arrival of the monsoon in the northern Indian state of Bihar, where the situation is expected to worsen in the coming days, according to official sources.
“The death of 20 people in 8 districts of the state due to lightning is tragic,” Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar tweeted late Tuesday.
Kumar said in a statement that at least 15 of these deaths occurred between Monday evening and Tuesday, and announced compensation of 400,000 rupees (some $5,000) for the families of the victims.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of worsening weather conditions in Bihar, with widespread rainfall and isolated thunderstorms until the end of this week.
IMD also forecast heavy monsoon rains and lightning strikes over the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan in the northwest.
Thunderstorms are common in India during the monsoon season, June and September, when the subcontinent receives 70 percent of its annual rainfall, often causing floods and other natural disasters.
According to IMD’s annual report released in April, at least 750 people died in 2021 across the country from heavy rains and floods.
Thunderstorms and lightning caused some 780 deaths last year, with the central states of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, and northern Bihar being the most severely affected. EFE