Indian officials have confirmed that during intense storms across the western state of Gujarat, lightning strikes killed at least 18 people on Sunday.
AFP reported that many were caught off guard as such heavy rainstorms are not expected in the western state during winter.
Although flash floods and lightning strikes kill scores of people across India every year, experts have warned that extreme weather events would increase over time due to global warming.
Gujarat state authorities, in a statement late Sunday, said that around 20 people were killed in the heavy rains with 18 of them losing their lives to lightning. Moreover, around 40 animals were also killed in these events.
In a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, India’s Home Minister Amit Shah said he was "deeply saddened" by the deaths.
“I express my deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy for their irreparable loss,” he said.
“The local administration is engaged in relief work, praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
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