Many of the deaths occurred in the western state of Rajasthan; where 11 people died after being struck by lightning near a watchtower at the 12th century Amber Fort, police said.
Senior police officer Anand Srivastava said some of the victims were taking selfies near the watchtower when lightning struck late Sunday.
“As it started raining visitors took cover at a watchtower near the fort. Lightning struck the watchtower killing 11 people on the spot and injuring others,” Jairam, a local police officer who identified himself by only one name, told Reuters on Monday.
Srivastava said at least nine more people were killed and nearly 20 others were injured in separate lightning strikes when the state was lashed with thunderstorms and monsoon rains.
In Uttar Pradesh, 18 people were killed by lightning on Sunday, said Manoj Dixit, a government official. Most of those killed were farm laborers working in fields.
Both state governments announced financial compensation for the families of the victims and those who were injured.
BBC News reports the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation for the victims’ families.
SADDENED BY THE LOSS OF LIVES DUE TO LIGHTNING IN PARTS OF MADHYA PRADESH. THE STATE GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE ALL POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE TO THE AFFECTED. FROM THE PMNRF, RS. 2 LAKH WOULD BE GIVEN TO THE NEXT OF KIN OF THE DECEASED AND RS. 50,000 WOULD BE GIVEN TO THE INJURED
The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of more lightning in the next two days.
Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from the period of June to September.