PATNA/LUCKNOW: A fusillade of lightning strikes spread across 31 districts of two states killed 107 people on Thursday — 83 in
and 24 in UP — amid warnings from meteorologists for people in both states to stay indoors as more thunderstorms are on the radar over the next 72 hours.
In Bihar, a total of 23 districts reported fatalities, with Gopalganj in the northern part of the state accounting for the highest number of 13 deaths, followed by Madhubani with eight. Siwan and Bhagalpur had six deaths each while East Champaran, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur and Banka reported five each.
In UP, bolts of lightning killed nine in Deoria, followed by six in Prayagraj, three in Ambedkarnagar and two in Barabanki.
Many victims were at work in their fields
Bihar’s Nawada, Khagaria, Aurangabad, West Champaran, Kishanganj, Jehanabad, Buxar, Kaimur, Jamui, Purnia, Supaul, Samastipur, Sheohar, Saran, Sitamarhi and Madhepura had fewer deaths.
Many of the victims in Gopalganj and some other districts were at work in their fields when they were struck by lightning, a perennial threat during the monsoon months. The UP relief commissioner’s office said 24 people were injured in the state.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his UP counterpart
announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those killed. Nitish appealed to people to take all necessary precautions as more turbulent weather had been forecast for the next two days. “Follow all advisories and stay indoors and safe during bad weather,” he said.