Lighting strikes have resulted in the death of over 70 people in India in the past two days, Disaster Management officials said on Wednesday.

This comes as a result of violent storms and heavy rains known as the annual monsoon rains that have lashed Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

During the monsson rains, usually between June and October, lightning strikes are very common.

Officials have reported that Bihar recorded most of the deaths after an overnight storm, which coincided with the arrival of the monsoon in the eastern state on Tuesday.

A local news agency has reported that the Disaster Management minister, Chandrashekhar warned that the death toll may rise.

“We have confirmation of 47 deaths and fear the toll may go up as reports are pouring in from other districts,” Anirudh Kumar, a senior official at Bihar’s Disaster Management agency, said.

Authorities in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh said 20 people were killed over two days. The state government, which announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the victims’ families, has issued an advisory to people to stay away from fields during thundershowers.

According to National Crime Records Bureau, at least 2,000 people have died in lightning strikes in India every year since 2005.

Author: Ope Adedeji