In India, 76 people are killed by lightning, including selfie-takers near a famous fort.
Nearly 80 people were killed by lightning strikes during the early phases of the annual monsoon season in northern India, officials said Monday. Several individuals were allegedly snapping photographs near a medieval fort.
During the June-September deluge, which brings relief from the summer heat across the northern Indian plains, deadly lightning strikes are prevalent.
At least 23 people were killed in Rajasthan’s partly desert state, including a dozen individuals who were watching the storm pass over Jaipur city from watch towers near the iconic 12th-century Amer Fort late Sunday, according to a state disaster department official.
“When the people arrived, it was already raining. As the rain became heavier, they huddled in the towers,” said Saurabh Tiwari, a senior Jaipur police official.
When the lightning struck, he said up to 30 individuals were atop the towers. On one side of the towers, emergency crews were checking for victims who had fallen into a deep moat.
“The hits rendered some of the victims unconscious. Others bolted out of fear and agony,” he added.
Officials told local media that several of those killed during the storm were snapping selfies.
The Amer Fort, commonly known as the Amber Fort, is a medieval structure on a hilltop west of Jaipur that attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year.
After several weeks of high heat in the state, people flocked to the fort, which offers a panoramic view of the tourist city of Jaipur.
At least 42 people were killed in lightning strikes in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday and Sunday, according to officials. They did not provide any other information regarding where they were slain.
An official from the state’s disaster control room informed AFP that 11 more people died in Madhya Pradesh over the weekend.
Two of them, who had gone grazing with their camels and sheep, were sheltering behind a tree when they were struck by lightning, according to the official.
Families of the victims will be compensated, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After severe turbulence during monsoon rains in the eastern state of West Bengal last month, 27 people were murdered and four passengers on a flight were hospitalized.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s most recent numbers, about 2,900 persons were killed by lightning in India in 2019.
The monsoon is essential for replenishing South Asia’s water supply, but it also brings death and disaster to the region. Brief News from Washington Newsday.