Lightning strike kills 11 taking selfies in India

Lightning strike kills 11 taking selfies in India
Lightning strikes - seen here over Jaipur - kill dozens in India every year. Source: NURPHOTO
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Daily US Times: A lightning strike killed at least 11 people in northern Indian city of Jaipur and injured many more on Sunday.

The victims were taking selfies on top of a watch tower during rain at the city’s 12th Century Amer Fort, which is a popular tourist attraction.

Twenty-seven people were on the tower and the wall of the fort when the lightning strike happened and some reportedly jumped to the ground.

In India, lightning strikes kill some 2,000 people on average every year.

A senior police officer told the local media that most of the people among the dead at the fort’s tower were young.

Nine more deaths from lightning strikes reported across Rajasthan state on sunday alone. Jaipur is city in Rajsthan state.

Rajsthan’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot has announced 500,000 rupees as compensation for the families of those who have died.

Monsoon season, which sees heavy rains, typically lasts from June to September in India.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that deaths by lightning strikes have doubled in India since the 1960s – one of the reasons they cited was the climate crisis.

The data says that incidents like these too have increased by 30%-40% since the early- to mid-1990s.

Andhra Pradesh, the southern state of India, recorded 36,749 lightning strikes in just 13 hours in 2018.

Officials say they are more common in areas with thinner tree cover, leaving people vulnerable to being struck.

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