Severe hailstorm hits Bihar, claiming lives of at least 33 people

0245z may 19 2022 eumetsat meteo-8

A severe hailstorm swept over parts of Bihar, India on May 19, 2022, destroying crops and homes, and leaving at least 33 people dead.

The storm follows several weeks of scorching heat and meteorologists said more rains accompanied by gusty winds and hail storms could hit the region ahead of the monsoon season.1

A large number of trees were uprooted across the state, while lightning and strong winds disrupted traffic.

A tree fell on a power substation near the Patna high court, leaving many areas in the state capital without power.

Authorities said seven people died in the Bhagalpur district, followed by 6 in Muzaffarpur and 3 each in Saran and Lakhisarai. Munger and Samastipur recorded 2 deaths each, while Jehanabad, Khagaria, Nalanda, Purnia, Banka, Begusarai, Araria, Jamui, Katihar and Darbhanga each reported one death.

CM Nitish Kumar on Friday announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of all the people killed.2

He asked officials to make a rapid assessment of the loss of houses and crops and provide assistance to affected families.

Nitish urged all residents to maintain complete awareness during rough weather, follow suggestions issued by disaster management officials and remain home during rough weather.

References:

1 Hailstorm toll 33, govt offers ₹4 lakh relief to victims’ kin – Times of India – May 20, 2022

2 Bihar: 33 killed in hailstorm; CM announces ex-gratia of Rs 4 laks each to next of kin of all – Times of India – May 21, 2022

Featured image credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-8, The Watchers. Acquired at 02:45 UTC on May 19, 2022

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