Heavy rains, lightning claim at least 20 lives in India

New Delhi, Nov 27 (EFE).- At least 20 people have been killed due to intense and unseasonable rains, accompanied by hail and thunderstorms, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the regional disaster management agency said on Monday.

The State Emergency Operation Center said that almost all towns in Gujarat experienced heavy downpours on Sunday, with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) noting that “heavy or very intense” rains occurred in at least six districts.

The deaths, mainly attributed to lightning strikes, have been reported by the disaster management authority, bringing attention to the severity of the weather conditions in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

Federal Home Minister Amit Shah, who also hails from Gujarat, expressed deep sorrow over the loss of lives.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the deaths of many people due to bad weather and lightning in various cities of Gujarat,” Shah wrote on the social media app X, formerly Twitter.

“I express my deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy. The local administration is engaged in relief work.”

Thunderstorm-related incidents are not uncommon in India, particularly during the monsoon rainy period from June to September, which accounts for 70 percent of the country’s annual rainfall.

The Indian Meteorological Department attributed the recent rainfall to a cyclonic circulation over the Arabian Sea, which surrounds the Indian peninsula on its west.

Lightning strikes have been a significant cause of weather-related deaths in India, with 907 lives lost in 2022, representing almost 40 percent of the 2,183 casualties recorded in weather-related events last year, according to official data. EFE


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