Dozens die in storm

Labour­ers hit by light­ning

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Light­ning killed 79 peo­ple, mostly farm labour­ers work­ing in fields, across the east­ern In­dia state of Bi­har over the 24 hours, a state of­fi­cial has said.

Fifty-three peo­ple died in Bi­har. Ten peo­ple were killed in the east­ern state of Jhark­hand, and at least 16 died in Mad­hya Pradesh.

At least 24 oth­ers were in­jured when thun­der­storms and mon­soon rains lashed 14 dis­tricts of the state.

In Bi­har, the deaths oc­curred in Na­landa, Au­rangabad, Ro­htas, Purnea, Munger, Gaya, Sa­harsa, Bha­galpur, Banka and Kaimur.

Dis­as­ter man­age­ment of­fi­cial Vyasji said scores of cat­tle also per­ished af­ter be­ing struck by light­ning.

The dead in­cluded at least eight shep­herds watch­ing their sheep, said Vyasji, who uses only one name.

He told re­porters that he ex­pects the death toll to go up as re­ports come in from re­mote dis­tricts of the state.

Light­ning strikes are com­mon dur­ing In­dia’s mon­soon sea­son, which runs from June to Septem­ber. How­ever, the toll in Bi­har is un­usu­ally high.

At least 2,000 peo­ple have died in light­ning strikes in In­dia ev­ery year since 2005, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Crime Records Bureau.

In­dia re­ceives 80 per cent of its an­nual rain­fall dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son, which runs be­tween June and Septem­ber.

In the town of Naubat­pur in Bi­har, on the out­skirts of the state cap­i­tal Patna, a light­ning strike left open a 100ft (30m) crack in the ground.

“The crack due to light­ning is 100 feet and eight feet deep,” dis­trict mag­is­trate San­jay Ku­mar Agar­wal was quoted as say­ing by Hin­dus­tan Times.

80% of In­dia’s an­nual rain­fall comes dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son

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