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A total of 435 people died in the country due to extreme weather events during the last three months of the southwest monsoon, according to the data compiled by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Of them, lightning strikes claimed the lives of 240 persons, which is more than 50 per cent of the total number of casualties, the data states.

Nearly one-third of the total extreme events-related deaths were from Maharashtra - one of the core monsoon zones in the country.

Of the three months, 109 people died due to extreme weather events in June, 301 in July and 25 in August.

Extreme weather events during the monsoon comprises lightning, heavy rains which could lead to floods and other incidents.

Officials in Maharashtra had earlier said that at least 213 people died after incessant rainfall caused flooding and landslides in many parts of the state in July this year. Large-scale damages had been reported from Konkan and western Maharashtra districts of Kolhapur and Sangli at that time.

IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the figures for the casualties in September are being compiled.

As the planet warms at a rapid pace, extreme weather events have been on a rise.

According to a study published this year by senior meteorologists, including M Rajeevan, the former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, in 50 years spanning from 1970 to 2019, as many as 7,063 extreme weather events have killed 1,41,308 people.

Lightning killed more than 8,862 people in the country from 1971-2019, it added.

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