Disasters & Accidents

At least 63 killed due to thunderstorms in north, central India

New Delhi, Jul 12 (EFE).- At least 63 people have died in northern and central India, 11 of them in the popular tourist destination, Amber Fort, in the state of Rajasthan, due to thunderstorms caused by the arrival of the monsoon or rainy season, officials said Monday.

“A total number of 11 people died in the Amer fort” on Sunday night, Anand Srivastava, police commissioner of the city of Jaipur, where the incident took place, told EFE.

A lightning strike on a tower near the medieval fort, where tourists and locals had gathered, also injured 29 people, Srivastava added.

Several local media had reported that the victims were struck by lightning while taking selfies in the middle of a storm but the commissioner denied it.

Srivastava said that a total of 18 people died in separate incidents in the state of Rajasthan.

Strong thunderstorms have killed at least 37 people, including women and children, in different districts of the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, local television channel NDTV reported, citing official sources.

Another seven people have died in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, according to the channel.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter and announced a compensation of about $2,600 for the victims’ families.

Thunderstorms usually occur during the June-September monsoon season, when the Indian subcontinent receives 70 percent of its annual precipitation, causing flooding and other natural disasters.

At least 600 people died across the country due to heavy rain and floods in 2020, according to an annual report released in January by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Electrical storms also caused 815 deaths last year, with the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh being the worst hit. EFE


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