Nearly 60 people have been killed by lightning in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as parts of these states witnessed scattered rainfall on Sunday. Eleven of them died while taking selfies in front of a 12th century fort in the Rajasthan capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deepest condolences over the deaths – his office has announced compensation from the PM relief fund for the families of those killed. The state governments in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have also announced compensations of Rs 5 lakh each to the affected families in the respective states.
Thirty-seven of these deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh, where Prayagraj alone reported 14 casualties. A majority of deaths were reported in rural areas across the state. Most of them were children and women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said on Twitter that it has released funds from the PM relief fund to the affected families in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The Prime Minister was briefed about the loss of lives and damages due to lightning in parts of Uttar Pradesh. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured.
– PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 12, 2021
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of those killed. The state government announced that financial help will also be provided to those who lost their livestock in rain-related incidents.
In Rajasthan, a visit to Amer Fort near Jaipur turned fatal for eleven as lightning struck them while taking a selfie on top of a watch tower in front of the 12th century monument. The lightning strike – captured on mobile cameras – was so powerful that dozens of people panicked and jumped off the watch tower. A number of them sustained injuries, according to reports. Twenty-seven people are reported to have been on the watch tower and the fort wall when the incident happened.
Apart from the incident at Amer Fort, nine more casualties by lightning were reported from across the state on Sunday. Seven of those killed were children.
The Southwest Monsoon has reached almost all parts of the country but has stayed away from parts of north India. It is yet to reach Delhi, and neighbouring states of Haryana, parts of west Uttar Pradesh and west Rajasthan.
“The conditions continue to remain favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon over Delhi, remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh, some more parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan during the next 24 hours,” the IMD said in its latest statement.
The prediction came after several instances this season when the weather department got its monsoon forecast for Delhi and nearby regions wrong, leaving the area high and dry.
Experts point out that the difficulty in predicting the outcomes of the interactions between the easterly and westerly winds were some of the major reasons behind the IMD’s monsoon forecast for parts of north India going haywire.
With inputs from PTI