Bhubaneswar, Nov 7 (LocalWire): Odisha has been conferred the prestigious lightning resilience award 2019 in recognition for its all round endeavour in reducing lightning-induced fatalities.
Indian Meteorological Department recently conferred the award to the Odisha disaster management department as part of Centre’s lightning resilient India campaign 2019-21.
It may be recalled here that the state stayed at the list in lightning-fatality-reduction drive, a joint initiative of climate resilient observing systems promotion council (CROPC) and Indian Meteorological Department, ministry of earth science.
Odisha with 9 lakh plus strikes, the highest strikes and minimal casualty of 129 is worth emulating by other states, a recent study by CROPC had pointed out.
During Cyclone Fani, Odisha had more than one lakh intense lightning strikes on 3-4 May.
More than 1.2 million people were evacuated to cyclone shelters.
Odisha had zero casualty principally because 891 cyclone shelters armed with lightning arresters, the report had said appreciating Odisha government’s initiative.
The lightning arrester installation in multi-purpose cyclone shelters and alert message dissemination system was launched in Odisha under the tenure of Bishnupada Sethi as Special Relief Commissioner.
Early warning dissemination system that was launched in Odisha under his stewardship is incidentally the first-of-its-kind automatic public address system in the country.
The system paid its positive dividends as it ensured the safety of people as Cyclone Fani barreled though Odisha on 3 May.
The state also launched a drive to undertake plantation of palm trees along the vacant roadside patches and forest-bordering areas as these tree species act as protective barriers against lightning during thunderstorms.
Thanks to improved early-warning infrastructure mechanism and increased public awareness, the scourge of lightning fatalities has registered a sharp downward trend in the eastern state.