Lightning, thunderstorms kill 80 in five Indian states

Eighty people were killed due to lightning and thunderstorms in five Indian states since Sunday night, the federal home ministry said on Monday. Fifty-one people died in India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, two in Delhi and one in Uttarakhand. Of the 136 people injured in lightning strikes and thunderstorms, 123 were from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Delhi and two from Uttarakhand. High winds affected road, rail and air services on Sunday evening in several places in north India, including Delhi. Thunderstorms occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the India Meteorological Department said. “Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms in some parts of the country. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. Summer dust storms accompanied by strong winds are common in India ahead of monsoon which arrives in the first week of June. Earlier this month, northern India was hit by a powerful squall and thunderstorms that killed more than 100 people.