Lightning strikes claim 24 lives in Gujarat, India amid unseasonal severe thunderstorms

gujarat terra modis satellite image on november 26 2023

In a rare winter weather phenomenon, the western Indian state of Gujarat experienced severe thunderstorms and lightning strikes, resulting in 24 deaths and approximately 25 injuries. The state, known for rain-related calamities, was unprepared for such a storm during the winter months.

The deaths occurred amidst heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and hailstorms that struck the state on Sunday and Monday, November 26 and 27, 2023. Gujarat, although familiar with rain-related calamities, usually does not experience such severe weather conditions during the winter months.

The state government reported that some areas received up to 144 mm (5.7 inches) of rain in the 24 hours ending Monday morning. This unseasonal weather not only caused fatalities but also led to substantial property damage and loss of cattle.

According to local authorities, more than 70 animals died in the havoc wrecked by the sudden thunderstorm in more than 220 talukas where standing crops were damaged.

The rains and hailstorms have caused extensive damage to standing crops in Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions. The rainfall also affected the ceramic industry of Morbi district in the Saurashtra region as factories were forced to remain shut. 

Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel addressed the situation on Monday, stating that the government would conduct a survey to assess the extent of the damage and loss. He assured that compensation would be provided to the victims based on the survey’s findings.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a forecast indicating that rainfall is expected to continue in some parts of the state on Monday.

This recent weather anomaly in Gujarat adds to a growing list of rain-related incidents in the state. In August 2020, Gujarat witnessed 14 deaths over two days due to heavy rains and flooding. A similar situation occurred in August 2019, resulting in 31 fatalities.


1 Lightning strikes kills 24 persons in Gujarat, as sudden rains and thunderstorms batter the State  – The Hindu – November 27, 2023

2 Lightning strikes in India’s Gujarat kill 24, more rains predicted – Al Jazeera – November 27, 2023


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