Storms and lightning kill at least 47 in India

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Storms and lightning across a swathe of northern India have killed at least 47 people, officials said Tuesday, the latest deaths from freak weather that has battered the country this month.

Disaster management officials in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand states said a combined total of 47 people had died in overnight storms across the region.


Bihar was the worst hit, pounded by strong winds and thunderbolts.

"At least 19 people have been confirmed dead. 11 of them due to lightning," Yoginder Singh, a state disaster management official, told AFP.

The wild weather stretched into neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, where winds of up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour buffeted India's most populous state.

"Fifteen people were killed by overnight lightning and high speed winds," said T.P. Gupta, an official from the Uttar Pradesh disaster management department.

“Another 10 people were injured, some with burns after being struck by lightning,” he added.

Many in rural India sleep outdoors during the summer to escape the searing heat.

Nearly 200 people have died in Uttar Pradesh this month alone as strong winds and sandstorms brought down walls and electricity poles.

In Jharkhand, east of Bihar, 13 people died and six were injured in violent weather overnight, said Sushil Kumar, the head of the state's disaster management department.

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