Thunder, heavy downpour kill at least 36 in India – Nexus News

Perilous weather has killed not less than 36 people in northern India over the past 24 hours, including 12 who died after being hit by lightning.

Across the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, 24 people died after their homes were destroyed during continuous rains, Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad said.

Mohamed Usman, 15, was on his friend’s roof in the city of Prayagraj when thunderstruck on Friday evening, killing him immediately. His friend Aznan, who goes by one name, was wounded and is being treated in a hospital.

“As soon as they set foot on the roof they were hit by lightning and my son died,” said Mohammad Ayub, Usman’s father.

Officials stated that 39 people in the state have died from lightning in the last five days, causing the state government to issue new guidelines for how people can protect themselves during a lightning strike.

Thunder strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which occurs from June to September.

Colonel Sanjay Srivastava, whose organization Lightning Resilient India Campaign works with the Indian Meteorological Department, stated that deforestation, depletion of bodies of water, and pollution all contribute to climate change, which results in more lightning.

Global warming has also increased the frequency of lightning, said Sunita Narain, director general at the Center for Science and Environment.

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A 1-degree-Celsius (1.8-degree-Fahrenheit) rise in temperature increases thunder by 12 times. Thunderbolts contain as much as a billion volts of electricity and can lead to immense damage to buildings when they strike.

There has been a 34-percent increase in lightning strikes across India over the past year, which has led to an increase in deaths.

About 2,500 people die in lightning strikes around India each year, according to government figures, compared with just 45 in the United States.

Last year, a herd of 18 wild Asiatic elephants was found dead in India’s northeastern state of Assam, possibly because of a huge lightning strike.

Evidence says lightning strikes are also becoming more rampant in urban areas, a particular problem in India, where the city population is forecast to rise dramatically in the coming years.

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