Indian Agriculture Number One Victim of Lightning, Among Others

Lightning strikes kill thousands of people in India each year, most of which are farmers working on paddy fields. A few cases from the month of May highlight the need for better lightning protection efforts throughout the country for those working in agriculture. Besides agricultural workers, who are the most common victims, lightning strikes also affect animals as well.

India Agriculture

may 13 woman

Lightning struck and killed a female agricultural laborer in Odisha on 13 May 2016. The woman, 25, was found dead and badly burnt after the strikes. A fellow 27-year-old female was injured by the lightning and taken to a nearby hospital. The ladies were working in a paddy field when the strike occurred. A storm containing 2,402 lightning strikes affected the state over a 12-hour period.


On the same day, a male farmer in Kodekal was also unfortunately struck and killed by a lightning strike. He too, was working on a paddy field when the lightning struck him. The case of the 29 year-old victim was registered with the Kodekal police station and the Tahsildar of Hunsagi visited his home and paid condolences to his family. While condolences are accepted, many of those working in India agriculture are asking for a way to protect themselves and their coworkers from lightning.

Less than a week later, lightning killed two and injured six others critically in Tripura. On 17 May, a 42-year-old and 38-year-old died while working in a paddy field as a result of lightning. The video above, generated by Earth Networks Total Lightning Network™, shows the path of the storm over a 24-hour period. Our network detected over 3,600 lightning strikes, both in-cloud (purple) and cloud-to-ground (yellow) over the course of the deadly storm.

3600 strikes



Sadly, members of Gorumara National Park found three rhino’s dead as a result of a lightning strike on 17 May. The female adult rhino, 14-year-old calf and baby had been living in the park in India’s west Bengal state for over a decade. 751 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes descended upon the national park that day.