26 killed in new lightning strikes in India
Twenty-six people were killed after being struck by lightning across India's Bihar yesterday, officials said.
They added that more than 100 people have died due to lightning strikes in the state in the last week, Hindustan Times reported.
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 (6), East Champaran (4), Katihar (3), Sheohar (2) and Madhepura (2) and West Champaran (1) and Purnea (1), 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 payment of Rs four lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each deceased.
He also appealed to people to remain "alert and vigilant and stay indoors" as far as possible during the bad weather, besides following the advisories issued by the disaster management department.