Lightning storm kills 39 in eastern India
PATNA, India (AP) — Lightning has killed at least 39 people during thunderstorms and heavy rains lashing eastern India where thousands of people are stranded on high ground, an official said Wednesday.
Disaster Management official Amod Kumar Sharan said the deaths occurred on Tuesday, raising the overall death toll in Bihar state to 123 from lightning and flooding since the monsoon season started in June. As rain stopped in some areas on Wednesday, helicopters dropped food packets for the villagers.
Last Sunday, 33 people were killed by lightning in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. They were mostly farmers working in fields.
Millions of people have been hit by floods, their homes and crops devastated by surging waters in the worst-hit Bihar and Assam states.
The flood situation in northeastern Assam state continued to be grim on Wednesday with the toll mounting to 74 since early this month, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, flood waters have inundated vast swathes of land in 20 of 33 state districts with over 800 government-run relief camps sheltering more than 200,000 people, PTI said.
South Asia's monsoon rains, which hit the region from June to September, are crucial for the rain-fed crops planted during the season