Lightning kills at least 18 people in northern India

Severe storms have battered Uttar Pradesh state over the past week.

    Eighteen people have been killed after being struck by lightning in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

    Uttar Pradesh has been hit by a number of severe thunderstorms over the past week and more are expected over the next few days.

    The storms killed eight people on September 16, and 10 more only 48 hours later.

    A number of other people are still in intensive care, fighting for their lives.

    Monika Rani, a district magistrate, said that the families of those who died will be given 400,000 rupees ($6,000) in compensation.

    Lightning kills a surprising number of people in India. In Uttar Pradesh alone, lightning caused 59 deaths in August, and it's estimated that it kills more than 2,000 people across the country every year.

    Most of those who die are farmers who are struck as they work in open fields. They are often working in rice paddy fields, vast expanses of flat, flooded lands without shelter.

    However, some people are also killed while they sleep in their beds. This is due to the rustic nature of their houses.

    In order to offer protection from lightning, a building must have plumbing or electrical wiring. This conducts the lightning’s electricity and keeps the occupants safe.

    Lightning kills a disproportionately large number of people across Southeast Asia, but the problem is not confined to the region.

    In June, more than 80 people were injured by lightning at Germany's Rock am Ring Festival, and in France 11 people were killed, including eight children, when lightning struck Paris.

    Global estimates of the number of deaths caused by lightning strikes vary dramatically because many countries have no reliable statistics. The estimates vary from 6,000 to 24,000 people each year.

    Additional reporting by Steff Gaulter.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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