Lightning Strikes Kill 18 People In India

(AFP) — At least 18 people were killed in lightning strikes across western India’s Gujarat state during unseasonably intense storms on Sunday, officials said.

Such big rainstorms are not expected in Gujarat during winter months, and fierce downpours caught many off guard.

While flash floods and lightning kill dozens of people in India each year, scientists warn that rising global temperatures are unleashing a cascade of extreme weather events.

At least 20 people were killed during the heavy rains, with at least 18 of them due to lightning, Gujarat state authorities said in a statement late Sunday.

At least 40 animals were also killed.

Home minister Amit Shah said he was “deeply saddened” by the deaths, in a post on social media platform X.