While 58 per cent casualties occurred due to lightning strikes and thunderstorms, 37 per cent deaths were attributed to floods and heavy rain.
In last three years, 2022 was the deadliest year in terms of human fatalities as a result of extreme weather events in India, according to the Annual Statement on Climate of India – 2022 issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
According to the statement, 2,227 people died across India last year, a figure significantly higher than the death toll in the last two years. The death toll in 2021 was 1,750 and in 2020, 1,338 died in India due to extreme weather events.
While 58 per cent casualties occurred due to lightning strikes and thunderstorms, 37 per cent deaths were attributed to floods and heavy rain, the statement said. In 2020 and 2021, 44 per cent and 55 per cent deaths had occurred due to lightning strikes and thunderstorms, respectively.
State-wise, Bihar topped the list with maximum number of fatalities due to extreme weather events. Of the 418 deaths in Bihar, 415 were due to lightning and thunderstorms. With 168 deaths, Odisha followed at the second spot while as Jharkhand saw 122 deaths due to lightning and thunderstorms.
In terms of aggregated casualties, Assam (257 casualties) saw the highest number of deaths after Bihar, followed by Uttar Pradesh (201), Maharashtra and Odisha (194 each).
As per the India Meteorological Department, 2022 was the fifth warmest year since 1901. Except for winter, when the all-India mean temperature was normal, all other seasons reported higher-than-normal respective mean temperatures, with the increase ranging between 0.36 to 1.6 degrees Celsius, the IMD said.
One of the major observations last year was in the month of December which was recorded as the warmest last month in last 122 years.