Crime and Accident

Lightning strikes hit Bihar hard, 32 killed

Lightning strikes hit Bihar hard, 32 killed
Lightning strikes over Lake Maracaibo in the village of Ologa, where the Catatumbo River feeds into the lake, in the western state of Zulia October 23, 2014. This year the Catatumbo Lightning was approved for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, dethroning the Congolese town of Kifuka as the place with the world's most lightning bolts per square kilometer each year at 250. Scientists think the Catatumbo, named for a river that runs into the lake, is normal lightning that just happens to occur far more than anywhere else, due to local topography and wind patterns. Picture taken with long exposure October 23, 2014. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 10 OF 20 FOR WIDER IMAGE PACKAGE 'VENEZUELA'S ETERNAL STORM' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'CATATUMBO LIGHTNING'

Patna: Thirty-two people have died in lightning strikes in different parts of Bihar since yesterday with the maximum casualty reported from Rohtas and Vaishali districts, officials said today.

The state has been receiving intermittent rain over the past few days.

Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit told PTI the 32 deaths include four in the state capital Patna.

The hardest-hit districts of Rohtas and Vaishali have reported five deaths each, he said.

Four people have died in Bhojpur and Saran districts each while Buxar reported three and Nalanda 2 deaths, he said.

Aurangabad, Siwan, Araria, Gopalganj and Samastipur reported one death each, he said.

The victims’ families have been provided with ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each and money has reached them, the officer added.

Amrit said the state government would soon launch a lightning-tracker app that would alert people about thunder and lightning.

Such an app is at present functional in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

The app has been developed by experts from the India Meteorological Department and Indian Space Research Organisation among others, he added.

“A team is expected to visit us tomorrow and we hope to make this app available this season itself,” he said.

—PTI