Lightning strikes killed at least 31 people in two India’s states in a one day

In this Aug. 9, 2019, photo, Indian army soldiers and volunteers transport flood victims to safer areas in Kodagu dictrict, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. (AP Photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MUMBAI, Jul 2, 2020, India Today. At least 31 people died in lightning strikes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, while the flood in Assam claimed one more life and inundated crop fields, even as Mumbai braced for extremely heavy rainfall, India Today reported.

However, the national capital sweltered under a stifling heat with no rains. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted dry weather in the city for the next two days and rains on the weekend.

Most places in the city recorded the maximum temperatures between 39 degrees and 42 degrees Celsius.

In Bihar, 26 people were killed on Thursday (Jul 2) after being struck by lightning, officials said. More than 100 have died in lightning strikes in the state in the last one week, they added.

According to the state disaster management department, the casualties were reported from eight districts — Patna, Samastipur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sheohar, Katihar, Madhepura and Purnea.

Samastipur accounted for the highest number of seven deaths, followed by Patna (six), East Champaran (four), Katihar (three), Sheohar and Madhepura (two each) and West Champaran and Purnea (one each), the department said.

On June 30, 11 people were killed by lightning strikes in five districts, while 83 such deaths were reported from 23 districts within a span of 24 hours on June 25.

Expressing grief over the latest fatalities, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a payment of Rs four lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each deceased.

In the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, five people died and 12 others got injured in incidents of lightning strikes in Ballia district.

The dead included a 70-year-old retired Army man, Babulal Singh, and villager Nirmal Verma, 43, who were struck by lightning while working in their fields in Babu Ka Shivpur village of Dokati area, police said.

Ten others were injured in thunderbolt strike on Wednesday while working in a field in Mahthapar village of the district.

They were rushed to a hospital, where two women, Savita (35) and Sheela (19), died during treatment.

In another incident at Rampur Madai village in Bhimpura area of the district, a 28-year-old farmer, Ram Sarikha Rajbhar was struck by lightning while working in his field and killed.

In yet another incident, four women were hit by lightning in Hajouth village of Khejuri area of the district. They were rushed to a hospital where their condition was stated to be stable.

The flood situation in Assam, meanwhile, continued to remain grim as it claimed one more life on Thursday, taking the toll to 34, while over 16.03 people are affected in 22 of the state’s 33 districts.

The floodwaters have inundated 72,700 hectares of crop area across the state as on Thursday,

According to the daily flood bulletin issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), one person died in Goalpara district.

The flood-hit districts are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Chirang, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and West Karbi Anglong districts.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department on Thursday predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in Mumbai and adjoining coastal districts, and issued an orange alert for the next two days.

An orange alert implies that authorities should be prepared to handle any situation arising out of severe weather conditions.

Ratnagiri district, which bore the brunt of cyclonic storm Nisarga last month, is likely to receive extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places on Friday, while Raigad will receive similar downpour on Saturday, senior director of IMD Mumbai, Shubhangi Bhute, said.

Heavy to very heavy rains are likely to lash isolated places in Mumbai, she said.

In Madhya Pradesh, two Indore-bound flights were diverted to Ahmedabad and Bhopal due to bad weather at the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport.

Star Air’s flight from Kishangarh (Rajasthan) to Indore was diverted to Ahmedabad, while IndiGo’s flight from Delhi to Indore was sent to Bhopal due to bad weather, airport director Aryama Sanyal said.

Once the weather conditions improve, these flights will head back to their original destination, she added.

Up north in Haryana and Punjab, hot and humid weather conditions prevailed, with maximum temperatures hovering two-five notches above normal limits.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a maximum temperature of 37.6 degrees Celsius, two notches above the normal limit.

In Haryana, Hisar sweltered at a high of 42.6 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal, while Narnaul’s maximum settled at 40 degrees Celsius.

Ambala recorded a maximum temperature of 38.2 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, while Karnal recorded a high of 37 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal.

In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a high of 40.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal. Ludhiana and Patiala registered their respective maximums at 40.6 degrees Celsius and 38.2 degrees Celsius, up by five and three notches above normal respectively.

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