As monsoon storms rip across India, officials said over 100 people lost their lives in a single day due to lightning strikes, with dozens injured by falling trees and electricity poles. More storms are on the way.
At least 104 people were killed by lightning strikes in the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, officials said, warning that some reports on the causalities were still pending.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twiter and stressed the authorities were working "with urgency" to provide relief.
Dozens more were injured due to monsoon winds bringing down trees and electricity poles. The northeast state of Bihar reported 83 lightning strike causalities, its highest single-day toll in several years, said senior disaster management official Avinash Kumar. He noted that the state saw two particularly deadly days in 2015 and 2017, when the death toll exceeded 50.
At least 21 deaths were reported in the neighboring Uttar Pradesh.
Meteorologists say more storms are on the way in the coming days, with officials urging people to remain vigilant and stay indoors.
Over 2,300 people were killed by lightning in India in 2018, according to the latest available numbers.
India faces monsoon storms every year between June and September. The rainy season plays a key role in replenishing the region's fresh water supply, but also claims lives and causes destruction across the country.
dj/aw (dpa, AFP)