Thunderstorms kill 24 in eastern India

Summer thunderstorms in the run-up to the monsoon season killed at least 24 people and injured about a dozen in India’s eastern state of Bihar, officials said on Monday.

At least five people died when their houses collapsed, and hundreds of huts were destroyed and trees uprooted in eight of the state's 38 districts during storms that raged for several hours on Sunday, Anirudh Kumar, Bihar's senior disaster management official said.

Several people were killed by lightning strikes, having been caught in the open or having ignored warnings to stay clear of electricity transmission lines.

Monsoon rains are expected to hit India's southern coast on Tuesday.