The American “Fox News” website said that a Wisconsin couple, aged 75 and 76, died of their injuries after the lightning strike in Lafayette Square, north of the White House.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life following the lightning strike in Lafayette Square,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones, and we pray for those who are still struggling to survive,” she added.
And “Fox News” revealed that two other people were seriously injured, and they are currently “in critical condition.”
Scientists say climate change is increasing the likelihood of lightning strikes in the United States.
The National Weather Service said the hot and humid weather in Washington, D.C., on Thursday was driving up electricity consumption. The temperature exceeded 34 degrees Celsius, which is three degrees Celsius more than the highest normal temperature the country has seen in 30 years.
Higher temperatures can increase atmospheric humidity and increase wind speed, which are key factors in the formation of charged particles, which lead to lightning.
An important 2014 study published in the journal Science warned that the number of lightning bolts could increase by 50 percent this century in the United States, with each additional degree of temperature increasing the number of lightning bolts by 12 percent.
Alaska, which is warming rapidly, has seen a 17 percent increase in lightning activity since the cooler 1980s.
In California, which has usually dry weather, about 14,000 lightning strikes during August 2020 caused some of the largest wildfires in the state on record.