Monday, July 31, 2017

Lightning kills 18 people in India as monsoon thunderstorms continue

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 31,2017, 12:08:01PM,EDT
The latest casualties amid the monsoon in India occurred on Sunday as 18 people were killed by separate lightning strikes.
The deadly lightning strikes occurred in eastern India in the state of Odisha. Most of the 18 victims were working in fields, according to First Post.
Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced compensation for the deceased.

The lightning deaths are the latest casualties since the monsoon has advanced across India.
The monsoon is being blamed for the deaths of nearly 700 people across India in recent weeks, according to The Guardian.
The death toll from devastating flooding in Gujarat state rose to 213 on Sunday. Bodies continue to be recovered as receding flood waters have allowed rescue workers to reach remote areas.
India flooding July 31
Indian villagers walk on a road damaged by flood waters near Thara in Banaskantha district, Gujarat, India, on Thursday, 27 July 2017. Large swaths of western India have been lashed by heavy monsoon rains and flooding over the last week. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Assam was hit hard with deadly flooding and landslides during the middle of July. Dozens were killed, and more than half of the Kaziranga National Park was flooded. This park is home to the world’s largest one-horned rhinoceros population.
While India relies on the monsoon for its water supply, the risks for areas of flash flooding and deadly lightning are the negatives that residents face.
This week, daily monsoon showers and thunderstorms will be most numerous from northern to eastern India and along the southwestern coast.
India July 31

A push of drier air will further decrease shower activity in western India as this week progresses. A few spotty showers can still dampen Gujarat, but their intensity will lessen by later in the week.
"The turn to unusually dry weather in Gujarat and Rajasthan is expected to carry through at least the first half of next week," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. "Shower and thunderstorm activity may increase later in the week, but the return of widespread devastating flooding rain is not expected."
On the other side of the country, AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a monsoon low to develop later this week and enhance downpours around Bangladesh.

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