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Story highlights

Lightning strikes are common during India's monsoon rains

Farmers depend on monsoons to deliver vital water

New Delhi CNN —  

Lightning strikes killed at least 120 people in four Indian states as monsoon rains swept across much of the country.

“Lightning strikes are common during monsoons, but there have been more strikes than usual this year,” said Vyas Ji, principal secretary in Bihar, where a record 57 people died Tuesday from the strikes – the most of any state in the country.

Lightning is the leading killer among natural disasters in India. In 2014, at least 2,582 people died in lightning strikes, according to the government.

Indians wade through a flooded street Tuesday in Mumbai.
PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images
Indians wade through a flooded street Tuesday in Mumbai.

Here’s a breakdown of deaths reported in other states Tuesday:

Forty-one people died in Uttar Pradesh, according to Anil Kumar, relief commissioner for the state government.

• Ten died in Jharkhand, according to Col. Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, state director of disaster management.

• Twelve died in Madhya Pradesh, according to Maithili Sharan of Madhya Pradesh police.

The seasonal monsoon rains have been highly anticipated in India, which has been mired in drought for two years. The country’s agricultural sector heavily depends on the rains.

Indian farmers pray monsoon rains will end drought

CNN’s Mike Pearson wrote from Atlanta, and CNN’s Sugam Pokharel reported and wrote from New Delhi.