Officials have reported that more than 100 people in India have died due to lightning strikes in recent days. According to the disaster management team from Bihar state, 83 casualties were tallied, with 20 more people admitted in hospitals with injuries.

In addition, Uttar Pradesh reported 20 more lightning-related deaths. Unfortunately, lightning deaths in India are not unique. According to the National Crime Record Bureau, more than 2,300 Indians were killed by lightning in 2018. Furthermore, lightning-related deaths in India have accounted for at least 2,000 cases every year since 2005.

Heavy monsoon rains in India naturally bring out lightning strikes in the region year after year. In 2018, Andhra Pradesh, India's southern state, documented 36,749 lightning strikes in just 13 hours.

Concurrently, the rain and thunderstorms have brought widespread destruction to trees and property. According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, relief goods and efforts were underway. Furthermore, he also expressed condolences to the victims' families.

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Catastrophic Lightning Kills More Than 100 People in India 

Lakshmeshwar Rai, Bihar's Disaster Management Minister, told AFP that this was one of the highest tolls from lightning the state had recorded in recent years. He added that more than half the deaths were in the state's northern and eastern districts.

According to authorities in Uttar Pradesh, the majority of the deaths occurred in the Deoria district, which is close to the Nepal border and the holy city of Prayagraj.

According to analysts, India has high cases of lightning deaths because of the huge number of people working outdoors in comparison to other parts of the world. Because of the nature of their job, Indians become more vulnerable to the deadly strikes of nature.

Authorities have warned residents to be attentive and to stay indoors, as meteorologists forecast more bad weather to come in the next few days.

What to Do When Lightning Strikes

Lightning naturally occurs when there are heavy rains and thunderstorms. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, people must seek shelter indoors whenever lightning occurs. The society advises to stay inside buildings or cars and to avoid staying out in the open at all costs.

In unavoidable situations, people should stay out of open, wide spaces and far from exposed hilltops. If shelter is nowhere to be found, make yourself a small target by crouching down with your feet close together and head tucked in.

Moreover, it is not advised to seek shelter beneath tall and isolated trees, as they tend to be usual targets of lightning. If you happen to be on the water when lightning strikes, get to the shore as soon as possible and keep off wide, open beaches as well.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also advises following the 30-30 rule. After seeing lightning, count for 30 seconds. If you hear thunder before you finish counting to 30, go indoors. It would be best to postpone outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.

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