Disaster strikes as 20 people struck by lightning and killed in just 24 hours

Lightning strikes have claimed the lives of 20 people in India in just 24 hours as huge electrical storms roll across the country.

The deaths have taken place across eight of the country’s districts, with the eastern state of Biha amongst the worst hit by the wild weather.

Nitish Kumar, the state’s chief minister, has encouraged residents to follow advice from the authorities.

READ MORE: One soldier dead and nine injured after lightning strike rips through Army training camp

More storms are expected in the coming days.

Hundreds of lives are claimed by lightning storms every year in India, the arrival of which marks the end of summer and the beginning of monsoon season.

According to the BBC, 36,749 strikes hit the Andhra Pradesh state in the south of the country in a 13-hour period in 2018 alone.

Al Jazeera reports that around 3,000 people were killed by lightning strikes in 2019.

The Times of India reports that bereaved families will be given 400,000 rupees (£4,154) for the loss of their loved ones killed by lightning, Mr Kumar announced.

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Officials in the state have been instructed by Mr Kumar to install lightning arresters which divert lightning harmlessly into the ground.

The number of lightning strikes in the country are increasing rapidly, according to the Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council, with 18million reported between April 2020 and March 2021.

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