Home / News / India /  Hazardous rainfall and lightning kills 36 in northern India in 24 hours

At least 36 people have died as a result of hazardous weather in northern India during the past 24 hours, including 12 who were struck by lightning. Officials haveissued a warning about more intense downpours in the coming days.

According to Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad, at least 24 people were killed in Uttar Pradeshafter their homes collapsed due to heavy rainfall.

According to reports by officials, reports that 39 individuals in the state had died from lightning in the past five days. Authorities have issued fresh recommendations for how people should protect themselves during a thunderstorm.

Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September.

Recommendations issued

During the thunderstorm

  • Keep a watch on local weather updates and warnings
  • Try to stay indoors; stay off verandas
  • Unplug all electrical equipment. Don't use corded telephones
  • Don't touch plumbing and metal pipes. Do not use running water
  • Stay away from structures with tin roofs/metal sheeting
  • Don't take shelter near/under trees
  • Stay put if you are inside a car/bus/covered vehicle
  • Don't use metallic objects; stay away from power/telephone lines
  • Get out of water - pools, lakes, small boats on water bodies and take safe shelter immediately

After thunderstorm

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas
  • Listen to local radio/TV stations for updated information or instructions on weather and traffic updates
  • Help children, women, elderly and differently-abled
  • Stay away from fallen trees/power lines and report them to nearest tehsil/district headquarter immediately.

Frequency of lightning has increased

According to Col. Sanjay Srivastava of the Lightning Resilient India Campaign, which collaborates with the Indian Meteorological Department, deforestation along with depletion of freshwater resources, and pollution all contribute to climate change, which increases lightning frequency.

Over the past year, there has been a 34% increase in lightning strikes in India, which has led to an increase in mortality. According to Srivastava, India had 1,489 lightning-related deaths in 2016, and that figure increased to 2,869 in 2021.

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.

The capital is also not unaffected by the ravages of the continuous torrential rains sweeping across the region. Saturday witnessed the third consecutive day as rains continued to lash Delhi and the capital region, causing water logging and traffic snarls at some places.

(With inputs from AP)

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