At least 36 killed in heavy rains, lightning in northern India

Screenshot from Reuters video.

At least 36 people were killed in hazardous weather in northern India over the past 24 hours, including 12 who were struck by lightning, officials said, warning of more heavy downpours in the coming days.

Across the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 24 people died after their homes collapsed amid unrelenting rains, Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad said as quoted by the Associated Press.

According to Associated Press, Mohamed Usman, 15, was on his friend’s roof in the city of Prayagraj when lightning struck Friday evening, killing him instantly. His friend Aznan was injured and is under treatment in a hospital.

“As soon as they set foot on the roof, they were hit by lightning and my son died,” said Mohammad Ayub, Usman’s father, as quoted by AP.

Officials said 39 people in the state have died from lightning in the last five days, AP reported.

This comes after heavy floods and rainfalls in Pakistan where hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands have been displaced.

Quoted by AP, Sunita Narain, director general at the Center for Science and Environment, said that global warming has also increased the frequency of lightning. A 1-degree-Celsius rise in temperature increases lightning by 12 times.

According to AP, there has been a 34% rise in lightning strikes across India, which has caused deaths also to jump.