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At least 38 killed in thunderstorms in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand

At least 38 killed in thunderstorms in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand

"As many as five persons were killed and four others injured as lightning struck some parts of Unnao district last night", Principal Secretary, Information, Avinish Awasthi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

At least 40 people died on Monday after the storm with lightning created havoc in parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

There are reports of two persons each being killed in thunderstorm in Kanpur and Rae Bareli, he said.

"Fifteen people were killed by overnight lightning and high speed winds", said T.P. Gupta, an official from the Uttar Pradesh disaster management department. Of these, 54 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours -17 from Uttar Pradesh, 19 from Bihar, 12 from Jharkhand, two from West Bengal and four from Madhya Pradesh.

Rescue work is being carried out in the state; district magistrates have been asked to provide relief material to people in the next 24 hours, Mr Awasthi said.

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Movement of traffic on the main Hardoi-Unnao road was hit because of fallen trees, which were later removed, the DM said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar condoled the deaths caused by nature's fury and issued instructions for expeditious disbursement of ex-gratia.

Extreme weather in north India can occur at this time of year as the intense summer heat begins to give way to annual monsoon rains.

Storms this month have left a trail of destruction in various states. The weather department added that thunderstorm accompanied with squall, gusty winds and lightning is very likely at isolated places over Bihar.

In Jharkhand, east of Bihar, 13 people died and six were injured in violent weather overnight, said Sushil Kumar, the head of the state's disaster management department.