At least 36 people died in parts of north India after hazardous rainfall and lighting witnessed across the region during the past 24 hours, after which a warning was issued. The tally also includes 12 struck by lightning.
The national capital is also not unaffected by the torrential rains. On Saturday, the rains lashed the city for a third consecutive day, leading to waterlogging and traffic snarls in several parts. Authorities said more intense downpours in the upcoming days are expected.
In a report published in LiveMint, Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad said that as many as 24 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh due to house collapse because of heavy rainfall. According to another report, about 39 have been killed in the state by lightning in the past five days.
Lightning strikes are a common sight in India, usually witnessed during the monsoon season, i.e. from July to September.
According to officials, the frequency of lightning has increased due to climate change.
Depleting freshwater resources combined with deforestation and pollution has contributed to the increase in lightning. Global warming has also increased the frequency of lightning. A 1-degree-Celsius (1.8-degree-Fahrenheit) rise in temperature increases lightning by 12 times.
Over the past year, there has been a 34 per cent increase in lightning strikes. India had 1,489 lightning-related deaths in 2016, which increased to 2,869 in 2021.
Authorities have now issued new recommendations for how people should protect themselves during a thunderstorm. The suggestions include a list of what needs to be done during and after the thunderstorm.
- People should try and stay indoors as much as possible and stay off verandas
- Keep a check on the local news for regular weather updates
- Avoid touching metal and plumbing pipes
- Avoid using running water
- Unplug all your electrical equipment. Do not use corded telephones
- Do not take shelter near or under trees
- Do not use metallic objects and stay away from power/telephone lines
- Stay away from structures with tin roofs/metal sheeting
- If you are in a small pool or lake, get out of the water immediately and take shelter at some safe place
- Try and stay away from storm-damaged areas
- Stay updated with the news and follow instructions on traffic and weather updates
- Please stay away from fallen trees/power lines and report them immediately to the nearest tehsil/district headquarters.