Ahmedabad, November 26: At least eight people were killed in lightning strikes and crops damaged in several areas of Gujarat after the state received widespread unseasonal rains accompanied by thunderstorms on Sunday, officials said. As per data compiled by the State Emergency Operation Centre, 220 of 251 talukas of Gujarat received up to 50 mm of rainfall in 10 hours since 6 am on Sunday, throwing normal life out of gear and causing damages to crops.

Ahmedabad city received 15 mm of rainfall in two hours in the morning. The city received more showers in the evening, keeping people indoors on a weekend. Rains and hailstorms hit Rajkot, where locals were seen rejoicing at the scene created by the unseasonal rains. Gujarat Weather Forecast: IMD Predicts Light Thunderstorms, Rainfall in Parts of State on June 3 and 4.

Standing crops apart, the rains also affected the ceramic industry of Morbi district in Saurashtra region as factories were forced to remain shut, officials said. Accompanied by gusty wind, lightning and thunderstorm, the untimely rains left at least eight people dead in Mehsana, Dahod, Sabarkantha, Tapi, Botad, Amreli and Ahmedabad districts, officials said.

A 22-year-old biker died in Botad taluka after being struck by lightning, while a 29-year-old man died after a tree fell on an autorickshaw in Mehsana district, the police said. Two farmers died in Tapi district, and one each in Sabarkantha, Ahmedabad, Mehsana, and Dahod districts in lightning strikes that accompanied the rains. Gujarat Weather Forecast: Heavy Rains, Thundershowers Expected in Ahmedabad and Other Districts Today, Says IMD.

Lightning strikes killed cattle and sheep in some places as well, they said. Director of IMD's meteorological centre in Ahmedabad, Manorama Mohanty, said Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Dang and Tapi districts in south Gujarat as well as Bhavnagar, Botad and Amreli districts in Saurashtra region were likely to receive heavy rainfall during the day.

“Rainfall is forecast for Sunday only. It will abate by tomorrow and remain concentrated in some parts of south Gujarat and Saurashtra districts,” she told reporters. The rains were being caused due to a cyclonic circulation lying over northeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Saurashtra and Kutch regions, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Apart from light rains forecasted for Monday in some parts of south Gujarat and Saurashtra districts, the state is expected to experience dry weather from Tuesday onwards, as per IMD.

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