Thunderstorms kill 52 in North India
At least 52 people were killed and scores injured by heavy rains lashing northern India over the past two days which have destroyed homes, reports quoting police said on Saturday.
The worst hit areas were the central and eastern regions of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, where 35 people died and some 50 were injured, it was reported.
The other 17 casualties were reported from neighbouring Bihar state that was also lashed by thunderstorms, the news agency quoted police as saying.
Most of the victims were crushed to death by falling trees or electric poles after strong winds blew off the roofs of their houses, the report said.
Some lost their lives when they were struck by lightning.
Winds uprooted hoardings, trees, electric and telephone poles, disrupting communication links and traffic flow at other places, it said.
The sudden squalls, however, brought down the baking temperatures in the northern plains that have been hovering between 45 and 48 degrees Celsius (113 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit) since mid-April, one of the hottest starts to India's summer season.