Dozens died in North India due to lightning in a week

India Lightning Deaths
A farmer describes the scene when Khushboo Bind was killed when lightning struck a nearby paddy field in Pipraon village on the outskirts of Prayagraj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on July 28, 2022. Seven people, mostly farmers, were killed when lightning struck a village in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state, killing 49 people in the state this week, police said on Thursday.

Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP

Seven people, mostly farmers, were killed by lightning in a village in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state, police said on Thursday, as 49 people were killed in lightning strikes in the state this week.

The farmers, who had taken shelter under trees during the drenching monsoon rains, were struck by lightning on Tuesday and died instantly. According to police officer Hem Raj Meena, the victims include four members of a family near Kaushambi town and some cattle herders.

State government spokesperson Shishir Singh said the high death rate has prompted the government to issue new guidelines on how people can protect themselves during lightning storms.

“More people are dying from lightning than from rain-related incidents, although this is the time when people (usually) die from floods or other rain-related incidents,” Singh said.

The monsoon season of India runs from June to September.

Col Sanjay Srivastava, whose organization “Lightning India Resilient Campaign” works with the Indian Meteorological Department, said that around 750 people have been killed in lightning strikes across India since April. In this, 16 people have died in the state of eastern Bihar in the last two days and in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India earlier this month.

Sunita Narayan, Director General, Center for Science and Environment said, Climate change Plays a role in the increasing number of lightning strikes. An increase of one degree Celsius in temperature increases electricity by 12 times.

Srivastava said that deforestation, depletion of water bodies and pollution all contribute to climate change, leading to more power outages.

Meteorological department director JP Gupta said that due to increase in pollution level this year there has been thunderstorm and lightning.

“High temperatures lead to evaporation from water bodies which adds moisture to the atmosphere. The presence of aerosols due to air pollution creates favorable conditions for triggering lightning activity in thunderstorms,” Gupta said. .

Over 200 people have been killed in heavy rains and landslides in Indian states including Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim, while 42 people have died in Bangladesh since May 17. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced during the monsoon season.

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