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61,000 lightning strikes in just 2 hours leaves 12 people dead as unprecedented storm hits
Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock / STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

61,000 lightning strikes in just 2 hours leaves 12 people dead as unprecedented storm hits

India is currently in its monsoon season

Twelve people were left dead after an unprecedented storm led to approximately 61,000 lightning strikes in just two hours.

India’s eastern state of Odisha was hit by the intense weather on Saturday afternoon (2 September).

According to the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), areas around the capital Bhubaneswar suffered from heavy bouts of lightning that carried on during the thundershowers.

The area was hit by both cloud-to-cloud lightning and cloud-to-ground strikes. Yes, there are different types of lightning.

Cloud-to-cloud is quite literally lightning that takes place between two or more different clouds.

And when the electrical strikes hit the land, then it’s cloud-to-ground lightning.

India is in its monsoon season.
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As well as 12 people reported dead from this dangerous weather, eight cattle are also said to have died due to the lightning.

It’s not rare for there to be lightning in eastern India during monsoon season (June to September), but this number of strikes in just one day certainly wasn’t expected.

And the thunderstorms are now likely to carry on, warns the India Meteorology Department (IMD).

There is now a warning of extreme conditions in Odisha until 7 September.

Proving extremely dangerous and high in quantity, Saturday’s lightning strikes were reportedly due to a cyclonic circulation active over the Bay of Bengal – expected to lead to heavy downpour.

IMD have also issued an orange alert (heavy rainfall) for seven districts today (4 September) and a yellow for others.

Lightning strikes across India as the country suffers storms.
SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images

According to OSDMA, at least 36,597 cloud-to-cloud lightning were recorded until 5pm on Saturday and 25,753 cloud-to-ground.

On Sunday, over 5,300 lightning strikes were recorded across Odisha.

According to a study published in the Nature Communications journal earlier this year, there’s been a 43 percent rise in total lightning incidents globally.

And it’s predicted that there will be a 50 percent rise in deadly strikes by the end of this century. This is due to the rise in sea surface area.

With the heavy case of lightning in Odisha taking lives at the weekend, the government there announced a payout of Rs 400,000 ($4,835) for each of the bereaved families.

Monsoon season can be very intense in India, with the country hit by severe rainfall in recent months as the weather batters parts of the country.

In order to help those who live and work there, the Indian government has a phone app, Damini, enabling people to track information relating to thunder.

Topics: News, World News, Weather