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Lightning kills 5

FREAK RAINS lashed many parts of Indore division today and five persons died and several others sustained burns when they were struck by lightning in Khandwa. The injured have been admitted to Khandwa District Hospital and Collector Nikunj Shrivastava has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10,000 for the deceased and Rs 5,000 for injured.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 16:49 IST

FREAK RAINS lashed many parts of Indore division today and five persons died and several others sustained burns when they were struck by lightning in Khandwa. The injured have been admitted to Khandwa District Hospital and Collector Nikunj Shrivastava has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10,000 for the deceased and Rs 5,000 for injured.

Reports of thunderstorms and rains were received from Indore as well as adjoining districts. Several young trees were uprooted during the squall, which began late in the afternoon and then tapered off, only to pick up again in the evening.

The surprisingly heavy wet spell played havoc with daily life and traffic was held up in many places as vehicles broke down due to the downpour. Large swathes of the district were plunged into darkness after power supply was shut off as a precautionary measure.

However, power supply was limping back to normalcy at the time of going to press. According to the weatherman, the wet spell is likely to persist over the next 24 hours with isolated rain accompanied by thundershowers expected in most of the Malwa region.

Coming after unusually hot pre-Holi temperatures, the rain provided a reprieve from the sweltering heat. Children, especially, had a delightful time as they played noisily in the puddles and splashed water at each other.
According to the weatherman, the change in climate was caused by cyclonic disturbances. Although not uncommon the severity experienced was exceptional, he added.

The month of March belonging to autumn was marked by a change of seasons transitioning from winter to summer. The winds blow from the west and northwest and sometimes gain in tempo during noontime.

The winds blow loose dry soil particles in the air and cause dust storms often clouding vision and spreading eye infections.

The difference in maximum and minimum temperature is more drastic and humidity remains about 22 per cent. Loud thundershowers, lightning and hailstorms though not uncommon were mostly caused by the western disturbances passing over the northern climes.

As per statistics furnished by the district land records office, the highest temperature recorded in this month was 41.1 degree Celsius on March 28, 1982, and the lowest was 5.0 degree Celsius recorded on March 4, 1898. The highest rainfall received was recorded at 34.8 mm in 1944 and the highest received within 24-hours at 18.8 m on March 14, 1968.

The climate is believed to remain the same for the coming 24 hours and the Meteorological office has warned of more thundershowers. The clouds provided a reprieve from the heat and made the weather pleasant in the morning. The rains washed away the dirt from the streets and brought traffic to a standstill after a long time.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 16:49 IST