NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has launched a system that provides information of lightning strikes across the country every 15 minutes, a senior official said today. The information is updated on the IMD website based on data from satellite INSAT-3D, IMD Additional Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra said.
Occurrences of lightning strikes are divided in the system into three-time slots of 10, 20 and 30 minutes and are marked on a map with different colours.
"It is updated every 15 minutes. However, the data is provided by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) every two minutes," A K Mitra, the coordinator of the project, said.
IITM Pune, an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has a network of ground stations to detect lightning.
According to the IMD data, in 2015, of the 1,600 people killed due to extreme weather events, 415 had died due to lightening, with most of the cases occurring in eastern India. Maharashtra also witnesses a high number of deaths due to lightning every year.