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Monday, January 30, 2023

11 Dead in Lightning Strike in India while Taking Selfies

At least eleven people have been killed in a lightning strike in Jaipur, India. Many more injuries are reported.

A group of tourists were taking selfies at the watch tower of a popular tourist destination Amer Palace near Jaipur, NDTV reports

There were as many as 27 people in the 12th century Amer Palace when the incident took place, some even jumped to survive on Sunday.

A senior police officer said the tower was a very popular place in the fort, all of whom died were young. About 2,000 Indians have been dying of lightning every year since 2004, BBC reports.

Nine more lightning strikes were reported in other parts of Rajasthan where Jaipur is located. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the families of those who died.

India receives heavy rainfall regularly this season, from June to September. According to India Meteorological Department, lightning deaths have almost doubled since 1960. They say the climate crisis is the major reason for this.

In the mid-90s of the last century, lightning deaths in India increased by 30 to 40 percent. Andhra Pradesh recorded 3,749 lightning strikes in a span of just 13 hours in 2018. Officials say people are more likely to die in places where trees are low, BBC said in a report.

Here are some tips to avoid lightning: 

  • Taking shelter in a big building or car
  • Open space, staying away from the top of the mountain
  • Not taking shelter under tall trees or standing trees
  • Moving away from the water, moving quickly to shore or elsewhere
  • If you don’t have the opportunity to take shelter, wrap yourself up as much as possible
  • Trying to move your head with your hands on your knees together

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