Bhubaneswar, Sept 1 (LocalWire): Odisha tops states in initiating measures to prevent lightning-induced fatalities, adding yet another feather to its disaster management cap.
a study report conducted under the joint initiative by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC), Indian Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Science, and World Vision India claimed ‘Odisha with nine lakh plus lightning strikes accounting for 15% of the country’s total strikes, it has the highest strikes with minimal casualty of 129, which is worth emulating by other states.’
Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh together account for more than 50% lightning strikes of India.
The lightning strikes have been dominantly observed all over India but the maximum intensity has been observed in eastern India over the Chhotanagpur plateau covering Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
Odisha owns maximum part of the most lightning intensity and frequency zone, the report said.
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 since 891 cyclone shelters were armed with lightning arresters, the report said, appreciating the state government’s initiative.
The study said lightning is a sudden and short term phenomenon which is a direct backlash of global warming and climate change.
It needs close monitoring and proactive collective action to reduce its adverse impact.
The majority of victims are from the rural belt (96%) including farmers, women and children.
They have been found to be vulnerable because of working in open.
There are 71% people who are struck by lightning due to standing under trees during rains or thunderstorm.
Under the aegis of Bishnupada Sethi, the special relief commissioner, the early warning dissemination system launched in the state is the first-of-its-kind automatic public address system in the country.
The lightning arrester installed in multi-purpose cyclone shelters is also his brainchild.
The system paid its positive dividends as it ensured the safety of people during Cyclone Fani.