A lightning strike killed at least 16 people and injured many more in Jaipur in northern India on Sunday, July 11.
So, according to the National Weather Service, only about 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed each year, leaving 90% with various degrees of disability in the U.S.
However, in India, lightning strikes kill about 2,000 people on average every year, according to official data. This story just just lit those odds on fire, though.
Over the course of one weekend, 16 different people were taking selfies at the top of a 12th-Century watch tower in the city of Jaipur were killed by a lightning strike. There’s no word if any of the smartphones made it out the scuffle in one piece.
Oh, but that’s not all.
On the same day, another nine people were killed by lightning strikes in Rajasthan state while a further 41 were killed in Uttar Pradesh state — most of them women and children.
In Firozabad city, two men who had been sheltering under a tree were killed instantly.
So, what in the world is going on? According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), deaths from lightning strikes have doubled in India over the last 50 years. This is apparently mostly due to changes in the Earth’s climate.
For instance, in 2018, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh was hit by lightning 36,749 times in just 13 hours. You can imagine everyone’s hair was standing straight up at that point in time.
When it comes to June 2020, 100 people were killed across two states in the month. Be careful out there.