Lightning strikes in India 'kill at least 79'

Death toll likely to rise after intense monsoons

Emma Henderson
Wednesday 22 June 2016 20:04
Comments
The majority of deaths have occurred in Bihar, in the east of the country, where 57 people died
The majority of deaths have occurred in Bihar, in the east of the country, where 57 people died

At least 79 people have been killed after lightning strikes in eastern and northern India during 24 hours, officials have said. The majority of deaths have occurred in Bihar, in the east of the country, where 57 people died. Most of the victims were farm labourers who were working in the fields. At least eight shepherds are thought to be among the dead.

Ten people were killed by lightning in the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, while six died in Uttar Pradesh to the north and one person was fatally struck in Maharashtra.

Drowned vehicles after a monsoon shower at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu

An official from the state of Biahr said scores of cattle have also died as a result of being struck by lightning.

Lightning is common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September and accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s rainfall.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to share his anguish at the high death toll.

“My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their near and dear ones due to lightning,” he posted.

Experts say at least 2,000 people have died in lightning every year since 2005, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. But this is an unusually high number.

The death toll is expected to rise.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in