Lightning storm in India: 16 people died while taking a selfie
Dozens of people have been killed by lightning storms in northern India in recent days, some of whom were shot while taking selfies near the city of Jaipur in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. According to local press, 16 people lost their lives yesterday and others were injured after lightning struck an observation tower of the 12th-century Amber Fort. Police said 27 people were on the tower and wall of the fort when the lightning struck, some of whom were taking selfies. As reported by Ndtv, several would jump from the tower in fear.
Also on Sunday, another nine people died and 20 were injured as a result of more lightning strikes in Rajasthan, while 41 people, many of them farmers, lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh and another seven in Madhya Pradesh.
For the next two days, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is forecasting more lightning storms in the country, where the monsoon season, which will last until September, has begun in recent weeks. In 2019, 2,876 people lost their lives to lightning strikes in India. According to the IMD since the 1960s, lightning deaths have doubled in the country, also due to climate change.
The best way to avoid being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm is to find a home to take refuge. Metallic surfaces and objects should be avoided and it is not recommended to turn on electrical appliances or to stand near walls or in rooms that are too small and to open doors or windows.
If, on the other hand, you are outdoors in the absence of sheltered areas, trees, pylons, antennas or flags, which can attract lightning, should be avoided. Instead, it is recommended to curl up near an object made of insulating material, but avoid lying on the ground. Avoid staying in the water in the event of a storm, as water is a conductor of electricity. Rather it is preferable to take refuge by car.