More than 50 people have been killed by lightning strikes across India over the past 24 hours, as torrential monsoon rains descended on several parts of the country this week.
Authorities in the eastern state of Bihar said a total of 57 deaths had been recorded amid thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday, reports the Indian Express. A senior official added that 24 others had been injured.
According to the BBC, 79 people had been killed in total, with 10 deaths recorded in Bihar’s neighboring state Jharkhand, and 16 in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, India Today reported 42 more deaths in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Authorities said that the death toll would be expected to rise as reports come in from rural areas, Voice of America reports.
At least 2,000 people in India have been killed by lightening strikes every year since 2005, according to government data.