Lightning strikes in Jharkhand have killed at least 12 people in eight districts of the state on Monday while torrential rain left many places waterlogged, officials said on Tuesday.
The state disaster management department officials said they were verifying the total death reports so that compensation could be paid to the next of kin of those killed. The Jharkhand government gives Rs 4 lakh to the family of a person killed by lightning.
Three persons were killed after being struck by lightning in Giridih district on Monday afternoon. Giridih police said a 60-year-old woman, who went to bring water from a well in Devri area, died due to lightning strike while a 25-year-old youth and 16-year-old boy were killed in Saria and Birni in the district.
Two elderly persons in Ramgarh, who took shelter under a tree during the heavy rains, were killed in a lightning strike. One death reported each from Ranchi, Gumla, Latehar, Deoghar, Jamtara and Bokaro.
A farmer in Ranchi’s Bero block, identified as Jogi Munda, and his ox were killed in lightning. Munda had gone to the farm field to bring his ox from the field.
Lightning has been a major killer in Jharkhand over the years with over 1,600 people dying due to lightning in the past one decade, according to the state disaster management department. Experts, however, say the numbers are much higher as several deaths in remote parts of the state go unreported.
The torrential rain on Monday afternoon caused heavy damage in different parts of Jharkhand. Three youths on different bikes were swept into drains in heavy rain in Ranchi’s Khora Toli area and Hindpiri. Two youths, one at Khora Toli while one at Hindpiri, were rescued by local people while one is still missing.
The rain caused waterlogging on major roads, overflowing drains and long-hour power cuts in Ranchi. Many low-lying areas and slums submerged due to the rains. Water gushed in Ranchi’s Prem Nagar slum causing heavy damage.
In just 90 minutes, Ranchi recorded 23 mm rainfall on Monday afternoon. The rain left knee-deep water on Station Road, near Tribal Research Institute in Morabadi and Bihar Club. Overflowing drains caused a traffic jam in Ratu road.
Usha Devi, a resident of Vidyanagar, said, “Drain water entered the house and we are in deep trouble.”
The MeT office said similar weather conditions could prevail till September 11 in Jharkhand. “Thunderstorm is likely for next few days, as high convection is being recorded in day time,” said Abhishek Anand, deputy director at Ranchi centre of India Meteorological department.