Lightning strikes kill 22 in Andhra Padesh, India

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

File photo of lightning striking the ground.
Image: Kószó József.

22 people have been killed in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and a women's cricket match has been interrupted due to lightning strikes during thunderstorms on Sunday. Most of the casualties were farmers, who worked in their fields despite the thunderstorms.

Officials blamed a low pressure system over the Bay of Bengal for causing the heavy thunderstorms, which affected eight districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Lightning during the storm killed a woman and her daughter-in-law while they were working on their farm, according to newspaper The Hindu. At another farm, a man was killed while drilling a well during the storms.

Lightning interrupted a women's cricket team match by striking a nearby tree. The match was stopped mid-game, and both players and spectators fled the scene. The escape was "miraculous", according to a cricket official in the area where the match occurred.

Even though the storms occurred during the monsoon season, when lightning strikes occur more frequently due to an increased amount of precipitation, the number of lightning-related casualties from Sunday's storms was considered by local authorities to be unexpectedly high.