BHUBANESWAR: Lightning strikes claimed 12 lives and left 14 injured in different parts of Odisha on Saturday. Eight cattle were also killed by the thunderbolts, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office said on Sunday. The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the families of the deceased. Over 62,000 lightning strikes (cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground) were reported from various parts of the state on Saturday.
The SRC’s office informed four deaths by lightning were reported in Khurda district, two in Balangir and one each in Angul, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur and Puri.
Eight persons were injured by lightning in Balangir, three in Khurda and one each in Angul, Cuttack and Ganjam. Six cattle were killed by lightning in Gajapati and two in Kandhamal. In case of cattle deaths, assistance will be extended to the owners, said the SRC’s office. As per SRC’s office, 281 deaths by lightning were reported in the state in 2021-22 and 291 in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Naraj recorded a maximum rainfall of 130 mm on Saturday, Pipili 100 mm, Athagarh, Mundali and Cuttack 90 mm each, and Jajpur, Bhandaripokhari and Banki 80 mm each. The regional Met office said the cyclonic circulation over north-east Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood persists and under its influence, a low-pressure area is likely to form over north-west and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal within the next 48 hours.
The Met Office has issued a warning for thunderstorms and lightning at one or two places in Cuttack, Khurda, Puri and 21 other districts on Monday. Heavy rainfall is expected in Cuttack, Khurda, Puri and 16 other districts during the period. “Light to moderate rainfall or thundershower activity is likely to occur at most places in Odisha on Monday. Parts of the state will receive heavy rainfall for the next four days,” said a scientist at Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Umasankar Das. In the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Sunday, the state recorded 13 mm of rain.