Lightning strikes kill 32 in Bengal in two days
Thirty two people have been killed across West Bengal since Monday due to lightning strikes, officials said.
At least 27 people were killed on Monday, and five more people were killed on Tuesday, taking the total death toll to 32 in the last 48 hours.
Lightning and thunderstorm continued to hit some districts even on Wednesday; while the India Meteorological Department said that the southwest monsoon is likely to advance into some parts of West Bengal over the next two days.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who has been recently appointed as the party’s general secretary will be visiting some of the victims’ families in Murshidabad on Wednesday. On Thursday, he will meet some of the families in Hooghly.
Eleven people were killed at Hooghly, and nine were killed in Murshidabad. The deceased includes a couple from Hooghly. They are survived by their seven-year-old daughter.
Abhishek had also visited some of the areas hit by Cyclone Yaas last week. He interacted with villagers, who had to be evacuated by the administration and were living in cyclone shelters.
“The TMC will stand beside the people throughout the year. Some people (read BJP leaders) who were seen to eat on banana leaves in villages before the assembly election can no more be found. The state government and the TMC will help the victims’ families in all possible ways,” he said.
The Centre and the state have both announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah have condoled the deaths.
Abhishek Banerjee handed over the cheques to the victims’ families. He met some of the families at Berhampore.
Around 1.30 pm he reached Berhampore at Murshidabad in a helicopter and went to Banjetia - Hatath Colony area where on Monday one Abhijit Biswas, 42 and Prahlad Murari, 40 were killed in lightning strikes. On the same day, 6 people from Mirjapur-Nowda village died due to lightning when they took shelter in a deep tube well room during a hailstorm. Another person died at a Suti village.
Besides this, former deputy labour minister of the state Jakir Hossain has announced a compensation of ₹1 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased of Mirjapur.