New Delhi, Dec 7 (EFE).- Over 900 people have died in India this year due to lightning strikes, with the high toll and increasing extreme weather conditions ascribed to climate change.
The Ministry of Science told parliament on Wednesday that lightning strikes were the leading cause of fatalities due to disastrous weather events in India in 2022.
At least 907 people lost their lives in lightning strikes, the ministry said.
The figure is more than 40 percent of the 2,183 deaths due to extreme weather conditions this year.
According to government data, lightning strikes killed 640 people last year and 240 in 2020.
Flooding and heavy rains have killed 804 people, while thunderstorms have left 371 dead this year.
Thirty people died due to the heatwave as weather conditions showed severe changes between April and June – the months of scorching Indian summer.
The number of heat waves India suffered this year was nearly seven times higher than a year ago.
In 2021, India witnessed four episodes of heatwaves, and it increased to 27 this year.
Lightning strikes increased by 111 times, from just five in 2021 to 556 this year.
Thunderstorms rose more than five times to 240.
A World Bank report released on Wednesday warned that “soon, India could become one of the first places in the world to experience heat waves that break the human survivability limit.”
“The recent heat wave supports what many climate scientists have long cautioned about rising temperatures across South Asia,” the report pointed out.
In August 2021, the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the Indian subcontinent would suffer more frequent and intense heat waves over the coming decade.
Citing the G20 Climate Risk Atlas, the World Bank report warned that heat waves across India would likely last 25 times longer by 2036–2065 if carbon emissions remained high. EFE