The number of lightning strikes in India in 2020-21 increased by 34% over previous years, resulting in the death of 1,697 people
The number and frequency of lightning strikes are increasing all over the world. Every year more and more people are killed by lightning. India recorded 18.5 million lightning strikes between April 2020 and March 2021. This is 34 percent more than the 13.8 million strikes between April 2019 and March 2020.
These statistics were presented today at a webinar on lightning strikes hosted by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down To Earth magazine. The webinar attempted to understand the reasons for the rise in the number of lightning strikes and their relationship to climate change and growing urbanization.
States affected by these attacks include Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
In Punjab, the number of lightning strikes grew at a staggering 331 percent annually, while in Bihar, where 401 people were killed by lightning strikes in a year, the growth was 168 percent.
In total, 1,697 people were killed by lightning in India between March 2020 and April 2021.