x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

At least 32 killed by lightning strikes in east India

At least 32 people including nine children were killed over the weekend by lightning strikes in the eastern Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand.

PATNA, INDIA // At least 32 people including nine children were killed over the weekend by lightning strikes in the eastern Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand, officials said yesterday.

“About 24 people including seven children were killed on Saturday and Sunday by bolts of lightning across Bihar,” said the state disaster management minister, Renu Kumari Kushwaha.

In Bihar, four children and two farmers were among the dead. The children had been playing in a field on Saturday when the lightning struck, while the farmers had been working on a paddy plantation on Sunday, an official said.

In Supaul, a principal of a private school was killed when lightning hit the premises on Sunday.

In neighbouring Jharkhand, eight people including two children died, Puran Mahto, an official in the state’s Dhanbad district said.

Torrential rains accompanied by strong winds uprooted trees, damaged houses and brought down power cables across the region on Sunday night.

Although lightning strikes during the June to October monsoon season are common, the weekend death toll was unusually high.

Villagers housed in bamboo-and-grass huts are generally most at risk.

* Agence France-Presse