83 killed after being hit by lightning in Bihar, PM Modi tweets on the disaster
In Bihar, at least 83 people lost their lives while 30 others were injured in thunderstorms and lightning that struck several parts of the state on Thursday. The lightning also killed more than 15 cattle in Khagaria district. Large scale damage to property has also been reported from various districts.
After media reports of 83 people being killed in a single day due to lightning in Bihar emerged, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter. “In some districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, heavy rains and lightning caused the death of many people. The state governments are engaged in relief work with promptness. I express my condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in this disaster,” the prime minister tweeted on Thursday.
“13 people died in Gopalganj, eight each lost their lives in Madhubani and Nawada, six each in Siwan and Bhagalpur, 5 each in East Champaran, Darbhanga and Banka, three each in Khagaria and Aurangabad, two each in West Champaran, Kishanganj, Jehanabad, Jamui, Purnia, Supaul, Buxar and Kaimur and one each in Samastipur, Sheohar, Saran, Sitamarhi and Madhepura,” Disaster Management Principal Secretary, Pratyaya Amrit said.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief at the loss of lives and has announced a compensation of Rs four lakh each for the kin of the deceased and proper treatment for the injured. He asked people to adhere to safety norms during bad weather conditions and follow the guidelines issued from time to time by the disaster management department. The secretariat said monetary help to those who had lost animals and cattle will also be extended.
Reports from Gopalganj said all the victims were farmers and residents of Barauli, Manjha, Vijaipur, Uchkagaon and Kateya localities. The lightning stuck when they were working in their fields.
There was chaos at the Gopalganj Sadar Hospital, where the victims were brought for treatment. The entire emergency ward was itself flooded. Attendants of the injured patients created a ruckus, but the situation was brought under control after intervention of senior medical officials.
District magistrate Arshad Aziz said seven injured people were admitted in Sadar Hospital for treatment. He said compensation would be given to the families of the deceased as per the rules.
In Khagaria, a woman died and five minors were injured in Choutham locality. More than 15 cattle also died after being hit by lightning. The accident occurred while all of them were working in a paddy field.
Five people were killed by lightning strikes in Darbhanga. Officer in-charge of the district disaster management department, Pushpesh Kumar said that in Uchhati village under Biraul block a woman died on the spot due to lightning while she was planting paddy in the field.
Two women were injured in the incident. The injured women were sent to the Primary Health Center for treatment.
Reports from Madhubani said that eight people including four of a family, besides a farmer and two others were killed in the Phulparas and Benipatti police station areas. Officials in East Champaran said, while a 49-year-old man died and three others were injured at Belwatiya village under Sagauli police station of East Champaran, a 14-year-old girl, a resident of Surendra village under Raxaul police station, was killed in the lightning strikes.
“All the three people who sustained injuries are undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Sagauli and the body of the deceased has been sent to Motihari Sadar Hospital for autopsy,” said Mithilesh Kumar, station house officer, Sagauli police station.
In neighbouring West Champaran district, two villagers were killed in Narkatiaganj subdivision of the district.
Last year too, lightning had killed 39 people in Bihar during the monsoon season.
(With inputs from Sandeep Bhaskar in Bettiah and Bishnu K Jha in Darbhanga)