Thunderstorms kill 47 as freak weather hits India


Thunderstorms kill 47 as freak weather hits India Thunderstorms kill 47 as freak weather hits India skynews storm india north india 4299771

Storms and lightning across a swathe of northern India have killed at least 47 people, officials have said.

The latest deaths come as freak weather conditions have battered the country over the past month.

Disaster management officials in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand states said a combined total of 47 people had died in overnight storms across the region.

Around 11 people are thought to have died by being struck by lightning alone.

“At least 19 people have been confirmed dead. 11 of them due to lightning,” Yoginder Singh, a state disaster management official, told AFP.

Six people died in Unnao district, 25 miles south of Lucknow – the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, said state spokesman Awanish Awasthi.

The storm also blew down power lines, Mr Awasthi added.

Bihar was the worst hit as it was pounded by strong winds and thunderbolts.

The severe weather stretched into neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, where winds of up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour buffeted India’s most populous state.

“Fifteen people were killed by overnight lightning and high speed winds,” said T.P. Gupta, an official from the Uttar Pradesh disaster management department.

A further 10 people were injured, some with burns, after being struck by lightning.

Many people in rural India sleep outdoors in during the summer to escape the heat.

Nearly 200 people have died in Uttar Pradesh earlier this month as strong winds and sandstorms brought down walls and electricity poles.

According to officials, most deaths happened in people’s homes after they collapsed.

Extreme weather in north India is typical at this time of year, as the blistering summer heat prepares to give way to annual monsoon rains.

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