On Thursday, June 25, officials in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states have reported over 100 deaths between them from lightning strikes in recent days. Bihar officials have reported 83 deaths and Uttar Pradesh 22 deaths and 12 injuries. Rain and thunderstorms have also damaged property and trees in the worst-affected areas. Relief teams have been deployed to the states to provide assistance. Further rains and thunderstorms are forecast in the coming days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning for Bihar state and an orange alert for east Uttar Pradesh for rains, thunderstorms, and lightning from Friday, June 26, through Sunday, June 28. Associated disruptions to transport, power, and business are possible in affected areas over the coming days.
India witnesses a relatively high number of deaths from lightning strikes, with more than 2,300 people killed by lightning in 2018. Lightning strikes occur most frequently in northern India during the monsoon season from mid-June to early September.
During an electrical storm, it is advisable to stay inside or within a car with the windows rolled up. If that is not possible, stay away from open structures, tall objects, open areas, and bodies of water. If caught out in the open during an electrical storm, crouch low to the ground away from others, but do not lie down.
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