76 people killed by lightning strike

Nearly 80 people were struck by lightning in several Indian states, including several taking selfies near an old fortress in Rajasthan, authorities said on Monday (July 12). Hundreds of people die each year in India in the storms and torrential rains that accompany the monsoons.

Of the 76 victims, at least 23 died in the state of Rajasthan (northwest), including a dozen who watched the spectacle of the storm over the city of Jaipur from watchtowers near the famous 12th-century Amber Fort on Sunday. said an official from the state civil protection agency AFP.

«It started to rain when the people were already standingAt the fort, Jaipur police officer Saurabh Tiwari told AFP. “When the rain got heavier, they took refuge in the towers.He said there were up to 30 people on top of the towers when lightning struck. “Some of the injured were passed out and others ran away“Said Saurabh Tiwari.

Authorities told local media that some of the victims took selfies during the storm. Rescue teams checked to see if victims had fallen into a deep trench on either side of the towers.

Local residents crowd through a wet street after heavy rainfall in Amritsar on July 12, 2021. NARINDER NANU / AFP

Every year tens of thousands of tourists visit the Amber Fort, a medieval fortress that sits on a hill outside Jaipur and offers panoramic views of the city. In neighboring Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, at least 42 people died from lightning strikes on Saturday and Sunday, officials said, who did not provide details.

Eleven other people died in the central state of Madhya Pradesh over the weekend, an official from the state disaster control center told the AFP news agency. Two of them, who had taken their camels and sheep to graze, were taking shelter under a tree when they were struck by lightning, the officer said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the victims’ families would be offered compensation.

According to the latest available official figures, nearly 2,900 people were killed by lightning strikes in India in 2019. The great monsoons from June to September are critical to the life and agriculture of the Indian subcontinent, but it causes significant damage every year and kills hundreds in this region of the world that is home to a fifth of humanity.