Heavy rains, lightning kill at least 36 in northern India
Women mourn by the body of Mohamed Usman, 15, who was killed by lightning on Friday at Prayagraj, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Hazardous weather killed at least 36 people in northern India over the past 24 hours, including 12 who died after being struck by lightning, officials said as they warned of more heavy downpours in the coming days. Usman was walking on a roof when he was struck by lightning. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Hazardous weather has killed at least 36 people in northern India over the past 24 hours, including 12 who were struck by lightning, officials said as they warned 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.

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, who goes by one name, was injured and is being treated in a hospital.

Officials said 39 people in the state have died from lightning in the last five days, prompting authorities to issue new guidelines for how people can protect themselves during a thunderstorm.

Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September.

Colonel Sanjay Srivastava, whose organisation Lightning Resilient India Campaign works with the Indian Meteorological Department, said that deforestation, the depletion of bodies of water, and pollution all contribute to climate change, which leads to more lightning.

Global warming has also increased the frequency of lightning, said Sunita Narain, director general at the Center for Science and Environment. A 1-degree-Celsius (1.8-degree-Fahrenheit) rise in temperature increases lightning by 12 times.

There has been a 34 per cent rise in lightning strikes across India over the past year, which has caused deaths to also jump. India recorded 1,489 deaths due to lightning in 2016, and the number grew to 2,869 in 2021, according to Srivastava.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy