Lightning strikes kill at least 90 in India

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NEW DELHI– Lightning strikes killed at least 90 people Tuesday in four Indian states as monsoon rains swept across much of the country.

“Lightning strikes are common during monsoons, but there have been more strikes than usual this year,” said Vyas Ji, principal secretary in Bihar, where a record 57 people died Tuesday from the strikes — the most of any state in the country.

In 2014, 2,582 people died in lightning strikes, according to the government, making lightning the leading killer among all natural disasters in India.

Here’s a breakdown of deaths reported in other states Tuesday:

  • Seventeen people died in Uttar Pradesh, according to Anil Kumar, relief commissioner for the state government.
  • Ten died in Jharkhand, according to Col. Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, state director of disaster management.
  • Six people died in Madhya Pradesh, according to Maithili Sharan, additional director general of Madhya Pradesh police.

The seasonal monsoon rains have been highly anticipated in India, which has been mired in drought for two years. The country’s agricultural sector heavily depends on the rains.

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