Lightning kills more than 70 people, mostly farmworkers, in east India

Lightning has killed more than 70 people, mostly farm labourers working in fields, across the eastern India state of Bihar. A top Bihar official says 24 others were injured when thunderstorms and monsoon rains lashed at least 14 districts of the state. The disaster management official Vyasji said that scores of cattle also perished after being struck by lightning. The dead included at least eight shepherds out grazing their sheep, said Vyasji, who uses only one name. Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September. However, the past day’s toll in Bihar was unusually high.

We have confirmation of 47 deaths and fear the toll may go up as reports are pouring in from other districts.

Anirudh Kumar, a senior official at Bihar’s disaster management agency