Light­ning strikes kill more than 100 in In­dia

Iran Daily - - Society -

At least 107 peo­ple died from light­ning strikes in north­ern and east­ern In­dia, of­fi­cials said, dur­ing the early stages of the an­nual mon­soon sea­son.

Some 83 peo­ple were killed in the im­pov­er­ished east­ern state of Bi­har af­ter be­ing struck by light­ning, and an­other 24 died in north­ern Ut­tar Pradesh state, AFP re­ported.

Dozens more were in­jured, of­fi­cials said.

Light­ning strikes dur­ing the June-septem­ber an­nual mon­soon are fairly com­mon in In­dia. But Bi­har’s disas­ter man­age­ment min­is­ter, Lak­shmesh­war Rai, said this was one of the high­est daily tolls from light­ning the state had recorded in re­cent years.

More than half of the deaths were from the flood-prone north­ern and east­ern dis­tricts of Bi­har, he added. Rai warned the death toll could rise fur­ther as his govern­ment was still wait­ing on ca­su­alty re­ports from the in­te­rior parts of the state.

Heavy rain is fore­cast to hit Bi­har to­day, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment of­fice.

In neigh­bor­ing Ut­tar Pradesh, most of the deaths were re­ported in Deo­ria dis­trict close to the Nepal bor­der, and the holy city of Praya­graj, au­thor­i­ties said.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi late on Thurs­day tweeted his con­do­lences to the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, adding that both state gov­ern­ments were car­ry­ing out ur­gent re­lief work.

More than 2,300 peo­ple were killed by light­ning in In­dia in 2018 ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Crime Records Bureau, the most re­cent fig­ures avail­able.

The mon­soon is cru­cial to re­plen­ish­ing wa­ter sup­plies in South Asia, but also causes wide­spread death and de­struc­tion across the re­gion each year.

PIYAL ADHIKARY/EPA

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