PATNA, India — Lightning has killed 56 people, mostly farm laborers working in fields, across the eastern India state of Bihar over the past 24 hours, a state official said Wednesday.

At least 24 others were injured when thunderstorms and monsoon rains lashed 14 districts of the state.

Disaster management official Vyasji said scores of cattle also perished after being struck by lightning.

The dead included at least eight shepherds watching their sheep, said Vyasji, who uses only one name. He told reporters that he expects the death toll to go up as reports come in from remote districts of the state.

Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September. However, the toll in Bihar is unusually high.