31 Killed in Lightning Strikes Across Bihar and UP, Alert Issued for Heavy Rain and Thunderstorm

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At least 31 people died in lightning strikes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

In Bihar, 26 people were killed on Thursday after being struck by lightning, officials said. More than 100 have died in lightning strikes in the state in the last one week, they added.

According to the state disaster management department, the casualties were reported from eight districts -- Patna, Samastipur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sheohar, Katihar, Madhepura and Purnea.

Samastipur accounted for the highest number of seven deaths, followed by Patna (six), East Champaran (four), Katihar (three), Sheohar and Madhepura (two each) and West Champaran and Purnea (one each), the department said.

On June 30, 11 people were killed by lightning strikes in five districts, while 83 such deaths were reported from 23 districts within a span of 24 hours on June 25.

Expressing grief over the latest fatalities, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a payment of Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each deceased.

In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, five people died and 12 others got injured in incidents of lightning strikes in Ballia district. The dead included a 70-year-old retired Army man, Babulal Singh, and villager Nirmal Verma, 43, who were struck by lightning while working in their fields in Babu Ka Shivpur village of Dokati area, police said.

Ten others were injured in thunderbolt strike on Wednesday while working in a field in Mahthapar village of the district. They were rushed to a hospital, where two women, Savita (35) and Sheela (19), died during treatment.

In another incident at Rampur Madai village in Bhimpura area of the district, a 28-year-old farmer, Ram Sarikha Rajbhar was struck by lightning while working in his field and killed.

In yet another incident, four women were hit by lightning in Hajouth village of Khejuri area of the district. They were rushed to a hospital where their condition was stated to be stable.