A slew of lightning strikes has led to the death of nearly 70 people in various states of India. At least 38 people were killed in eleven districts of Uttar Pradesh, while the death toll in Rajasthan stood at 20. Reports indicate that seven people have died in Madhya Pradesh. The death toll may rise, as officials search for the victims and many others remain injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the deaths, announcing ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh for each of the victims' families in the three states. "Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured," the Prime Minister's Office added quoting Modi.
At least 41 people have reportedly been killed by lightning strikes in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier reports had indicated that 38 people had died in 11 districts due to lightning, thunder and rain. According to reports, many of the deaths occurred on Sunday evening, with 14 being killed in Prayagraj, five in Kanpur Dehat, three each in Firozabad and Kaushambhi and two each in Unnao and Chitrakoot. According to a government spokesman, deaths were reported from Kanpur, Pratapgarh, Agra, Varanasi and Rae Bareli. Similar incidents have also been reported from Ghazipur and Ballia.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the district administrations to provide adequate compensation to the tragedy struck families.
Lightning had struck various parts of Rajasthan on Sunday, with deaths being reported from Kota, Dholpur, Jhalawar, Jaipur, and Baran districts. As per earlier reports, eleven tourists lost their lives and another eight sustained injuries during a lightning strike near the Amer Fort on Sunday.
Some were busy taking selfies while others chatting when they were struck down. Around twenty-seven people were reported to have been on the watch tower and the fort wall when the incident happened. A few of them slipped from the hills and fell down into the bushes far below. SDRF teams have been rescuing them since last night and are searching for victims. The police said that many tourists had sustained injuries after jumping off the watch tower in panic.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of those killed. He has also ordered compensation for the injured.
(With inputs from agencies)