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Severe storms, lightning kill over 100 people in India

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Severe thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain lashed northern and eastern India on Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22, 2016, killing more than 100 people, officials said today. Deaths were reported from the four states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The death toll is expected to increase with reports from remote areas.

In Bihar, 57 people were killed after being struck by lightning, disaster manager official Aniruddh Kumar said. "Most of the victims are farmers, homeless and those outdoors." At least 22 people sustained serious burn injuries. 

Principal Secretary of disaster management department Vyasji said the death toll from rain and thunderstorm may increase as the information from remote areas is yet to reach the office. "We have started giving compensation to the affected families.”

In the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, 40 people were killed by lightning, house collapses and other weather-related incidents, Tribune India reports. Officials said two dozen people were killed in Varanasi and Azamgarh divisions while 11 died in Basti and Gorakhpur divisions.

Madhya Pradesh state officials reported 16 deaths while 10 died in Jharkhand state.

Suomi NPP / VIIRS image acquired June 21, 2016. Credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD, Google

Storms and lightning claim numerous lives during India's monsoon season from June to September, but this week's toll is unusually high.

In 2014, the most recent figures, more than 2 500 people in India were killed by lightning.

Featured image: Lightning (CC – Flickr)

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