Lightning Kill 971 in Odisha Between 2018-21

Bhubaneswar: The State registered 971 deaths allegedly due to lightning from the 30 districts during 2018-19 to 2020-21 while 50 persons got injured in the natural calamity during the same period.

This was informed in the Assembly today by Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi in reply to a question posed by BJD legislator Souvik Biswal.

Tabling the official data on the alleged lightning deaths in Odisha during the afore-cited four years until now, the Minister appraised the House that Ganjam district registered highest 98 lightning deaths followed by 75 in Ganjam district and 71 in Keonjhar district.

Similarly, the highest number of 11 injured persons has also been registered in Mayurbhanj district during the same years followed by 7 each in Koraput and Nawarangpur district. On the measures taken by the State Government to avert lightning deaths and injuries, the Disaster Management Minister further informed the members of the House that an MoU has been inked with a global agency Earth Networks for lightning alerts and the Earth Networks has installed Lightning Detection Sensors at Keonjhar, Bolangir, Berhampur, Jeypore, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Panikoili.

This Sensor can detect in advance the occurrence of lightning within a radius of 200-250 km. Besides, the spots in Odisha can also be detected from the Lightning Detection Sensors installed by the Earth Networks in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

The Minister also added that the lightning alert is being received 30-40 minutes before the occurrence by the State Emergency Operation Centre of State Special Relief Commissioner (SRC). Basing on the lightning alerts, the SRC office shares the alerts to the people of the probable places through SMS by means of the Location Based Alert System (LBAS). The SRC office also disseminates the lightning alerts through social media platforms like Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook.

Besides, a mobile app named ‘Satark’, developed by the international agency Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), has also been in place by the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) for lightning alerts before 30-40 minutes of the occurrence at the specified places.

The House was also informed that the Earth Networks agency has also installed Automatic Outdoor Alert System (AOAS) at 14 places in Odisha for sounding Siren on lightning alerts before 30-40 minutes.

Apart from this, a video clip on the lightning awareness has been prepared by the OSDMA and it is available on the official website as well as shared on the electronic media and social media on various occasions.

The latest lightning alerts are also shared with the people through print media while efforts are on to distribute 2.5 lakh posters in the districts. The people are also being sensitized on it at the block levels, stated the Revenue and Disaster Management Minister in the Assembly today.

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