BHUBANESWAR/NABARANGPUR/DHENKANAL : WITH six more deaths, the toll due to lightning rose to 47 in the State on Sunday. While Dhenkanal reported four deaths, two persons died in Nabarangpur district. In Nabarangpur district, Usha Soura (30) of Turunji village in Nandahandi block and Ramsingh Gond (60) of Mangarapalli village in Raighar block died when they were struck by lightning while they were working in their paddy fields.
Seven women of Turunji village of Nandahandi block, who were injured in the incident, were admitted to District Headquarters Hospital and Tentulikhunti Community Health Centre. Their condition is stated to be stable. In Dhenkanal district, four persons died and eight others sustained burn injuries after being struck by lightning. The victims belonged to Ganjeidihi, Saurali Santhasara and Kalamati villages. All of them were working in their agricultural fields when the incident occurred. The injured have been admitted in different hospitals.
On Saturday, 41 persons were killed and more than 40 injured in 12 districts. The casualties were reported from Bhadrak, Balasore, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Nayagarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Puri districts. Official sources, however, put the death toll at 41. An official at the Odisha Disaster Management Control Room said the death toll due to lightning is considered to be the highest on a single day in the State. On June 2, eighteen persons were killed and 15 injured in separate places.
Three northern Odisha districts __ Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj __ were the worst hit. While Bhadrak recorded eight cases, seven deaths each were reported from Balasore and Mayurbhanj, followed by six in Khurda, four each in Cuttack and Jajpur and two in Nayagarh. Most of the cases were reported from the northern and coastal districts which also experienced heavy rainfall soon after the lightning struck. Expressing grief over the deaths, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to immediately release ex gratia of ` four lakh to each of the kin of the deceased as per the State relief code.
Lightning seems to be one of the biggest calamities in the State with over 300 persons dying every year. While 396 people were killed in 2015-16, 308 casualties were reported in 2014-15, 372 in 2013-14, 294 in 2012-13 and 359 in 2011-12.