Odisha sees maximum lightning deaths in the country
Apart from deaths due to thunderstorms and lightning, a very severe cyclonic storm Yaas in May last year claimed three lives and cyclone Gulab killed one person in September.
BHUBANESWAR: The state reported the maximum deaths due to thunderstorms and lightning in the country last year. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s ‘Statement on Climate of India during 2021’, thunderstorms and lightning claimed 780 lives across the country and a maximum of 213 deaths took place in the state. Madhya Pradesh with 156 such deaths was second in the list followed by Bihar (89), Maharashtra (76), West Bengal (58), Jharkhand (54), Uttar Pradesh (49) and Rajasthan (48).
The regional Met office scientists pointed out that there are only two radars in Odisha - at Paradip and Gopalpur - and there is a dire need to install more such equipment in the state to issue area-specific lightning and thunderstorm warning.
“State government has already provided infrastructure in Sambalpur and Chandipur to install radars but the Centre is yet to fulfill our long-pending demand. As a result, we are able to disseminate only nowcast warning of lightning and thunderstorm to districts and not area-specific warning,” said a scientist of IMD.
Weather experts also claimed that the kind of efforts the state government puts in for rescue operations ahead of an ensuing cyclonic storm is nowhere close to steps being taken to prevent lightning deaths.
“Global warming has led to a significant rise in temperature and pollution levels have also gone up. These phenomenons have enhanced the severity of lightning strikes and the state government must take adequate steps to create awareness among the masses,” said a weather expert.
Apart from deaths due to thunderstorms and lightning, a very severe cyclonic storm Yaas in May last year claimed three lives and cyclone Gulab killed one person in September. Three deaths were also reported in Odisha in 2021 due to floods, heavy rains and landslides, and three more deaths due to other inclement weather conditions.