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Eleven killed by lightning in Jharkhand, over a dozen injured in thunderstorms

The Ranchi centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) centre has warned that sudden development of thunderstorms would continue till the monsoon hits Jharkhand around June 12.

india Updated: May 28, 2018 16:41 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Lightning deaths,Lightning,Jharkhand
Lightning in the sky in Patiala.(HT File Photo/Representative image)

Lightning killed at least 11 people while thunderstorms left over a dozen others injured in the past 24 hours in Jharkhand, taking the weather-related toll to 18 this month in the state, officials said on Monday.

High velocity wind lashed parts of Jharkhand including capital Ranchi Sunday evening and a series of thunderstorms uprooted dozens of trees, electricity poles and blew off asbestos rooftop of several houses in nearby villages.

Two deaths were reported from Ranchi’s Khalari area, two from Giridih, one each from Ramgarh, Hazaribag, Koderma and Lohardaga from between Sunday afternoon and midnight. At Khalari, the deceased were identified as Bittu Turi and Rahul Turi, who had come to see a religious function at Chaingarha in Khalari on Sunday. Eye-witnesses said they were standing under a tree after the function when lightning struck them in the evening.

Three more deaths reported from Chatra district where lightning struck six members of a family at Harhat village. Three persons identified as Phuldeo Ganjhu, 18, Raman Ganjhu, 14, and Panua, 14, died on the spot while three others who were injured were admitted to the Chatra Sadar hospital.

The Ranchi centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) centre has warned that sudden development of thunderstorms would continue till the monsoon hits Jharkhand around June 12.

“Due to availability of ample moisture in the atmosphere, pre-monsoon thunder cells will be forming causing intermittent thunderstorm and heavy rain in parts of Jharkhand,” said BK Mandal, director at the centre.

Thunder cell is a kind of cloud that ushers in thunderstorms and lightning at relatively low height.

The high-speed wind accompanied by heavy rain uprooted several trees in Ranchi blocking several arteries. The wind also toppled over a dozen motorbikes parked at Khelgaon in Ranchi. A long spell of lightning forced people in Ranchi to stay indoors.

According to state disaster management authority (SDMA), around 1,800 people have been killed by lightning in the last 12 years. According to the SDMA’s data, lightning kills a person every second day on an average in a year. Experts, however, say the numbers are much higher as several deaths in state’s remote areas go unreported.

“As per the media reports, over 270 people were killed in 2017. The deaths in remote areas of the state go unreported, as here the department depends on daily newspaper to list casualties. Lightning kills not less 300 people every year in Jharkhand,” said Colonel Sanjay Srivastava, former project officer of SDMA.

First Published: May 28, 2018 11:21 IST