KOLKATA: Eight people were killed in different parts of West Bengal as thunderstorms and heavy rains battered the southern districts of the state on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Lightning and gusty winds with speed reaching up to 54 km per hour lashed Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, Bankura, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, Birbhum and Purulia districts, a Met Department official said.
In Alipore, 102 mm rainfall was recorded, Dumdum recorded 96 mm rainfall and Saltlake registered 116 mm rainfall, he said.
The rainfall led to waterlogging in several areas across Kolkata, including the arterial Central Avenue, slowing down traffic during the evening rush hours.
A man was electrocuted to death while returning home from office through the flooded street outside the North Gate of the Raj Bhavan in central Kolkata, police said.
The incident happened around 5.30 pm when he tried to get hold of a lamppost as he fell down, they said.
Firefighters and police rescued the body and sent it for post-mortem.
"We are trying to ascertain the person's identity," an officer said.
In Birbhum, two persons were killed when a car collided head-on with a dumper at Nanoor amid the blinding rains, officials said.
A farmer died in a lightning strike in Samserganj in Murshidabad while working in the field, they said.
A middle-aged woman was killed in a lightning strike in Baksara in the Botanical Garden police station area in Howrah city.
Her identity is yet to be ascertained, police said.
In the district's Baltikuri area, a 28-year-old man, Ashok Biswas, was killed in a lightning strike when he was working in the field with his mother, they said.
The mother, Reba Biswas, is undergoing treatment at the Howrah Zilla Hospital and was stated to be critical, police said.
A 29-year-old man was killed in a lightning strike in Naohati village in the Jamalpur police station area of Purba Bardhaman district.
As rain and thunderstorm began around noon, Sanjay Pramanik went to the field to get his cows that were grazing there, police said.
While returning, he was struck by lightning and was declared brought dead when taken to the nearby health centre.
In the district's Khandoghosh police station area, 20 -year-old Sharif Munshi was killed in a lightning strike when he was working in the field.
The incident happened in Kunjanagar village, police said.
In Malda district, hailstorm destroyed crops worth lakhs of rupees, farmers said.
Jute and Bodo paddy are severely damaged due to the hailstorm, they said.
Crop damage was reported from Chanchal, Gajole, Habibpur and Bamangola areas of the district, Malda's Deputy Director of Agriculture Snehasis Kuila said.
The extent of the damage was being ascertained, he said.