Publication Date May 9, 2017

15 dead after intense thunderstorms hit Bihar, India

24 hours of rainfall accumulation ending 12:00 UTC on May 9, 2017. Photo: NASA/JAXA GPM

At least 15 people have been killed, including 7 due to lightning, after intense thunderstorms accompanied by heavy pre-monsoon rains hit the Indian state of Bihar on May 9, 2017.

The storm hit Bihar, dropping temperatures, while the rest of the country still endures a sizzling heat. It destroyed standing crops, damaged houses and uprooted trees in at least 11 of 30 affected districts (out of 38 total).


Of the casualty figures due to lightning, two persons died in Begusarai, while one person each was killed in Kaimur, Maner, Darbhanga, Samastipur and Madhubani.

Reports from far-flung areas said that trees were uprooted following thunderstorm thereby affecting power supply. In areas like Khagaria and Saharsa, several houses were damaged while in Danapur, a newly-built pontoon bridge was washed away.


According to MeT Department, the storm arrived from the northwest and hit Bihar with wind speeds of 80 km/h (50 mph), accompanied by 8.3 mm (0.31 inches) rain. The squall was followed by 10.5 mm (0.41 inches) of rain in Patna which led to drop in maximum temperatures to 28.6 °C (83.5 °F). Bhagalpur received 0.9 mm (0.03 inches) while Purnea recorded 32 mm (1.25 inches).