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Toll from US tornadoes climbs to 20: officials
by Staff Writers
Chicago (AFP) June 5, 2013

Lightning kills 27 in eastern India: official
Patna, India (AFP) June 05, 2013 - A total of 27 people including six children were killed across the eastern Indian state of Bihar after they were struck by lightning, officials said on Wednesday.

Twenty-two of the deaths were reported Tuesday while another five people were killed during pre-monsoon showers on Wednesday, the minister in charge of Bihar's disaster management said.

"It is sad that lightning claimed so many lives," the minister, Renu Kumari Kushwaha, said in the state capital Patna.

Another ministry official said the six children were playing outdoors during the showers when they were electrocuted.

Lightning strikes during the June-September annual monsoon are fairly common in the impoverished state, where villagers living in bamboo and grass huts are at risk of death or injury.

The monsoon is set to cover flood-prone Bihar on June 12, meteorological officials have said.

At least 20 people were killed by a series of tornadoes that swept through the Midwestern US state of Oklahoma last week, including seven children, officials said Wednesday, providing an updated toll.

The state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said only one of the victims, a child, was still unidentified. It provided the names for the others in the toll, up from 18 on Monday.

Most of the victims were men. The youngest was Rey Chicoj Pol, a 17-day-old baby swept away with his mother, Maria Pol Martin, 26.

Dorenia Hamilton, 79, was the oldest victim, along with two men in their 60s.

Nearly all of the victims succumbed to multiple blunt force trauma or drowned, while others asphyxiated or suffered from a closed head injury, according to the medical examiner.

The victims included storm chasers Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their partner Carl Young, who were caught in a twister that struck El Reno, west of Oklahoma City, one of several that hit a region still reeling from a huge tornado that claimed two dozen lives last month.

They were said to be the first storm researchers ever to lose their lives while pursuing twisters.

The United States is hit by an average of 1,200 tornadoes each year. They are particularly common in the Great Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The US hurricane season now underway is expected to bring more extreme weather from the Atlantic triggered by warmer than usual water temperatures.


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Three storm chasers among 18 killed by US tornadoes
Chicago (AFP) June 3, 2013
The death toll from a series of tornadoes that swept through the US state of Oklahoma late last week has risen to 18 and includes three storm chasers, officials said Monday. Six children are also among the fatalities from late Friday's twisters, said the chief medical examiner's office, which had previously placed the number of victims at 14. Storm chasers Tim Samaras, his son Paul and t ... read more

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