Lightning strikes in India’s Gujarat kill 24

By Sumit Khanna

AHMEDABAD (Reuters) – Twenty-four people have died by lightning strikes and about 23 have been left injured in rain-related incidents in the western Indian state of Gujarat over the past two days, government officials said, with rains continuing on Monday morning.

The state was hit by heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and hailstorms on Sunday and Monday, with some places receiving up to 144 mm (5.7 inches) of rain in the 24 hours ending Monday morning, according to state government data.

The rains caused damage to houses and loss of cattle across the state.

“We will begin a survey soon to assess the loss suffered,” Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavij Patel said on Monday, adding that compensation will be paid to victims on the basis of the survey’s results.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast rainfall to continue in parts of the state on Monday.

Gujarat is not unfamiliar with rain-related calamities. In August 2020, 14 people died in the state over just two days in various incidents related to heavy rains and flooding.

A year previously, in August 2019, 31 people died in the state in rain-related incidents.

(Reporting by Sumit Khanna; Writing by Kanjyik Ghosh; Editing by Stephen Coates)