PATNA , India, June 22 (UPI) -- Lightning strikes during torrential rain killed dozens of people in northeastern India, officials said.
Most of the victims were working on farms when monsoon rains, accompanied by lightning, struck the area. At least 53 people died in Bihar state, 10 in Jharkhand, 20 in Uttar Pradesh and 16 in Madhya Pradesh Tuesday, with death tolls expected to rise as reports from rural areas arrive.
Lightning strikes are common in India during monsoon season, June to September, when the country receives about 80 percent of its annual rainfall. Since 2005 they account for at least 2,000 deaths per year, India's National Crime Records Bureau says.
Viyas Ji, Bihar's disaster management secretary, said the state will provide a death benefit of $5,900 to families of those who died in the monsoon.