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23 killed as lightning strikes Bihar again

At least 23 people were killed after being struck by lightning in Biharon Saturday, officials said. The fatalities were reported from five districts, with Bhojpur accounting for the highest number of nine deaths, the Disaster Management Department said.

The other districts affected by the lightning striked are Saran, Kaimur, Patna and Buxar, it said.

The incident came a day after eight people were killed in lightning strikes in five districts of the state.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of each victim, an official release said.

The Chief Minister also appealed to the people to remain alert and stay indoors as far as possible during the bad weather.

More than 100 people have died due to lightning strikes in the state in the last one week.

Meanwhile, several weather experts have opined that a combination of above-normal temperatures in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and moist southerly winds from the Bay of Bengal led to an “instability” in the atmosphere, resulting in large-scale incidents of lightning that killed over 150 people in these two states in the last fortnight.

IMD director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the states were alerted about the impending weather pattern.

“We send information to the state emergency operation centre concerned. Plus our Regional Meteorological Centre at Patna also shares information with the state disaster management authority, districts and media,” he said.

Mr Mohapatra, however, said there is scope for improvement to ensure that the information reaches out to the last person.