LUCKNOW: Hazardous weather has killed at least 36 people in northern India over the past 24 hours, including 12 who were struck by lightning, officials said as they warned of more heavy downpours in the coming days, reports AP.
Across the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 24 people died after their homes collapsed amid unrelenting rains, Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad said.
“As soon as they set foot on the roof, they were hit by lightning and my son died,” said Mohammad Ayub, Usman’s father.
Officials said 39 people in the state have died from lightning in the last five days, prompting authorities to issue new guidelines for how people can protect themselves during a thunderstorm.
Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September.
Col. Sanjay Srivastava, whose organization Lightning Resilient India Campaign works with the Indian Meteorological Department, said that deforestation, the depletion of bodies of water, and pollution all contribute to climate change, which leads to more lightning.
Global warming has also increased the frequency of lightning, said Sunita Narain, director general at the Center for Science and Environment. A 1-degree-Celsius (1.8-degree-Fahrenheit) rise in temperature increases lightning by 12 times.