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Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

30 August 2016

A lightning strike has killed more than 300 wild reindeer in Norway, in what officials described as an unusually large natural disaster. Officials believe that the animals were killed by lightning during a heavy thunderstorm, marking what could be the deadliest lightning strike in history.

It's unclear whether a single lightning bolt killed off the pack of 323 reindeer or if several bolts struck them over the course of a few minutes. Norwegian Environment Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told the Associated Press that these incidents are not uncommon but that this was an oddly deadly event.

It's not known whether the deaths were the result of one lightning strike or multiple.

The Hardangervidda plateau is a very popular destination when it comes to outdoor activities hosting more than 10,000 reindeer.

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Of the 323 reindeer killed, five had to be put down due to their injuries. They determined 322 reindeer were killed, all in a concentrated area where "they certainly were standing tightly together", Nylend said.

In this immore than 300 wild reindeer were killed by lighting in Hardangervidda, central Norway.

All the dead animals were found in the radius of just 50 meters. "Then we will know for sure how the animals died", said Nylend. Thousands of reindeer migrate over this area and move around in larger and smaller herds depending on the weather.

Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway