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Lightning, floods kill 16 in eastern India

Reuters  Kolkata, June 18, 2007
First Published: 14:34 IST(18/6/2007) | Last Updated: 14:37 IST(18/6/2007)

At least 16 people have been killed by lightning and flash floods in eastern India as heavy monsoon rains lashed the region, police and witnesses said on Monday.

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Ten people, including four women and two children, were killed when lightning struck them in different parts of West Bengal since Sunday, officials said.

In neighbouring Bihar, six people were drowned as flash floods inundated farmlands and devastated villages, said Manoj Kumar Srivastava, a senior official.

"At least 83 villages have been affected and we are evacuating people from low-lying areas," Srivastava told reporters in Patna on Monday.

Dozens were also injured as strong winds, accompanied by heavy showers uprooted trees and electric poles in the region, witnesses and officials said.

Train services were also disrupted in many places and flight operations hampered by overcast conditions.

Hundreds of people died in a heatwave in May and June that preceded the monsoon.

(Additional reporting by a Reuters reporter in Patna)


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