Struck down in a flash

More than 300 wild reindeer were killed by lightning in Norway in what wildlife officials are calling an unusually large natural disaster, reported The New York Times.

The Norwegian Environment Agency released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.

The agency said 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, during the lightning storm on Friday.

Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen said it is not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes, "but we have not heard about such numbers before".

He said reindeer tend to stay very close to one another in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once, The New York Times report said.

Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardanangervidda plateau as the seasons change.

It is the second time this month that a large group of animals was killed by lightning, The Telegraph reported yesterday.

Last Thursday, 38 sheep died after they were hit by lightning in the Indian district of Kanchipuram, 80km south-west of Chennai, the report added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Struck down in a flash'. Print Edition | Subscribe