24 people killed by lightning strikes in India’s Gujarat

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INDIA, Gujarat, Nov 27, (Agencies): Over the past 48 hours, the western Indian state of Gujarat has witnessed the tragic toll of unrelenting rain, lightning strikes, and associated incidents, resulting in 24 fatalities and approximately 23 injuries, as per government reports. The relentless downpour, accompanied by thunderstorms and hailstorms, has caused widespread havoc, with some regions receiving up to 144mm (5.7 inches) of rainfall in the 24 hours leading up to Monday.

Unseasonal rainfall and lightning strikes claimed 24 lives in Gujarat, India.

The adverse weather conditions led to significant damage to homes and the unfortunate loss of cattle across the state. At least 40 animals perished in the midst of the calamity. Gujarat’s Agriculture Minister, Raghavji Patel, announced plans for a comprehensive survey to assess the extent of the losses incurred. Compensation will be disbursed to victims based on the results of this survey.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected ongoing rainfall in various parts of the state throughout Monday, underscoring the continued weather challenges faced by the region. Federal Home Minister Amit Shah, a native of Gujarat, expressed deep sorrow over the fatalities in a social media post.

Gujarat, while accustomed to rain-related adversities, is grappling with an unusual occurrence of intense rainstorms during the winter months, catching many residents off guard. This recent calamity brings back memories of previous incidents, notably in August 2020, when 14 people lost their lives due to heavy rains and flooding over a span of just two days. A year earlier, in August 2019, the state witnessed 31 casualties in rain-related incidents.

While flash floods and lightning strikes are recurrent challenges in India, scientists emphasize that escalating global temperatures contribute to an alarming increase in extreme weather events, further intensifying the vulnerability of regions like Gujarat to unpredictable and severe climatic conditions.

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