Lightning kills 27 in one day in India's Gujarat state

lightning kills 27 in one day in india's gujarat state

A lightning strike in April during a thunderstorm over India’s eastern city of Kolkata. Heavy rain has been reported across the country in recent days. NurPhoto

At least 27 people have been killed and about 25 injured by lightning strikes amid thunderstorms in India’s western state of Gujarat.

Heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail were reported on Sunday and Monday, with some places receiving up to 14cm of rain, state government data showed.

The deaths were reported in 24 hours across in 12 districts, with 19 recorded in the Banaskantha district. Two other people died in a structural collapse, Gujarat’s State Emergency Operations Centre said.

“I express my deepest condolences for the irreparable loss to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy,” Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said on X. “The local administration is engaged in relief work, praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

An annual average of 49 deaths from lightning strikes were recorded from 2017 to 2021, the National Crime Records Bureau said.

More than 70 animals, including cattle, buffalo, camels and goats, were also killed in the latest storms. Several houses and other structures were damaged and crops destroyed.

“We will begin a survey soon to assess the loss suffered,” Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel said on Monday.

Several parts of the country were hit by heavy rain on Monday. In the capital New Delhi, heavy rain and lightning caused at least 16 flights to be diverted to nearby cities. The southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala were also lashed by heavy rains at the weekend.

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