According to Bihar officials, the 215 fatalities of lightning strikes during this rainy season already exceed 2018 numbers, although it has only just begun.
In all, 147 people ended up dying from lightning strikes in the Indian state of Bihar during the past ten days, Lakshmeshwar Rai, Minister of Disaster Management in Bihar, announced on Sunday.
“I have been informed by climate experts, scientists and authorities that the rise in temperature due to climate change is the main cause behind the increasing lightning strikes,” stated the minister to the AFP agency, cited by the portal Science Alert, adding that 25 people died on Saturday (4).
According to biologist Abdus Sattar, lightning and thunder were caused by large-scale instability in the atmosphere, fueled by increases in temperature and excessive humidity.
State authorities have launched an application that helps to predict possible lightning strikes, but many poor farmers do not have smartphones.
According to the authorities, the number of fatalities this year in Bihar, India’s poorest state, already exceeds any of the last few years, despite the monsoon season has barely started.
Since the end of March, about 215 people have died in Bihar of electrical discharges, including farmers, rural workers and ranchers, with a similar number in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2018, there were more than 2,300 deaths in India due to lightning strikes, according to India’s National Criminal Records Office.
Lightning strikes during the annual monsoon rain from June to September, with changes in precipitation and atmospheric circulation, are quite common in India, being crucial to the water supply in South Asia, but also causing death and widespread destruction throughout the region. each year.