A man in his thirties was killed and 15 others were injured today in lightning strike at Kolkata's iconic Victoria Memorial Complex as heavy rain battered the city and disrupted flight operations.
All the people were standing under a tree which was hit by lightning. The injured were rushed to the nearby SSKM hospital.
The man, who died in the lightening strike, has been identified as Subir Pal. He had come to the Victoria Memorial Complex with his wife and two-year-old daughter. The family lives in Dum Dum area.
Heavy downpour began at around 3:30 pm and lasted for nearly 30 minutes, however, the short spell of rain was so intense that it left the city paralysed for hours.
Even flights could not land or take off at the Kolkata airport between 3.40 pm to 4:00 pm due to low visibility caused by heavy rain, said an official.
In several parts of the city, water-logging led to traffic jams causing inconvenience to locals. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has set up control rooms to oversee the situation.
Regretting the loss of life, Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said: "We had very heavy rains for half an hour. It has caused waterlogging in many places. We have put the pumps to work to pump out the water. The rains have now eased. If it stays this way, things should be back to normal later tonight."
The met department had issued a warning of heavy rain today and tomorrow in Gangetic West Bengal because of a cyclonic circulation developing over Bangladesh.
"We have issued alerts to fishermen not to go out to sea for 48 hours," D Banik from the Met department said.
According to a state control room monitoring the situation, several parts in south Kolkata were badly hit including Behala, Mominpur and Jinjira Bazar.
In the last two weeks, more than 270 people have been killed and over 10 lakh have been displaced due to floods and landslides in different parts of the country. Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra are among the worst-hit states.
In Kerala, which suffered its worst deluge in a century last year, over 100 people have died and lakhs have been displaced in the last one week. Floods and landslides in Karnataka have killed at least 60 people and in flood-hit Maharashtra, at 50 people have died.
Amid heavy rain, schools were closed in several districts of Madhya Pradesh today where floods have killed at least 40 people.