As many as 60 people have been killed by dozens of lightning strikes across the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, officials said on Monday.
While 40 people died in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, some 20 lost their lives in the western state of Rajasthan as lightning and thunderstorm struck different parts of the two states on Sunday evening.In fact, high velocity wind and thunderstorm lashed parts of northern and western India after a week of sultry weather.
"In Uttar Pradesh, the district of Prayagraj recorded the maximum number of deaths at 14. Women and children were among the deceased," a senior government official told the local media.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered officials to provide adequate compensation to the families of the dead. "We intend to give at least Rs two lakh to the bereaved families," the official said.
In Rajasthan, the capital Jaipur alone logged 11 of the 20 lightning deaths. "The deceased were mostly people taking selfies at a watch tower in front of the 12th century Amer Palace," a police official told the local media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted his condolences to the bereaved families.
"Many people have lost their lives due to lightning in some areas of Rajasthan. Deeply saddened by the demise of people. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Governor Kalraj Mishra have also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the natural disaster.
"The loss of lives due to lightning strikes in Kota, Dholpur, Jhalawar, Jaipur and Baran is very sad and unfortunate," Gehlot tweeted.
Lightning strikes are very common in India, particularly during the monsoon months of June, July and August. Every year, lightning claims over 2,000 people in the country.