Odisha Turns Lightning Resilient

Odisha has been the most lightning resilient state in the country with highest lightning strike counts of more than 9 lakh numbers but resulting in only 129 human casualties.

Thanks to initiative taken by the Odisha Disaster Management Authority to inform people beforehand.

Bishnupada Sethi MD OSDMA pointed out that OSDMA started informing people with SMS and SATARK App before lightning strike, which saved lives.

While total lightning strikes in India during (1 April to 31 July) 4 months was 64,55,540, the most lightning prone state – Odisha faced 9, 00, 296 strikes.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 224 deaths despite receiving One Third lightning strikes as compared to Odisha. Odisha tops the Lightning flashes list with 9 lakh strikes in last 4 months. And OSDMA has chalked out plans to reduce the deaths drastically, said a senior officer.

Odisha and Karnataka are found to be most resilient states, revealed the Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning Report prepared by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council ( C R O P C )

Report reveals that Maximum strike day was 02 June 2019 with 2,19, 000 strikes and most lightning prone month was June 2019 with 26,14,841 strikes

And the State with maximum Lightning deaths was Uttar Pradesh with 224 and most Lightning prone District in India was East Singhbhum with 2, 00, 123 flashes

Maximum deaths reported in 24 hours 15- 16 April -89 deaths in Rajasthan, MP, Maharashtra, Gujrat. The Management of Lightning Data and situation report was the best in Odisha and Karnataka.

Interestingly many other mysteries are revealed inside the Report, said , Col Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, Convener Lightning Resilient India campaign.

States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar need to undertake immediate steps as they have incurred highest losses despite much less strikes.

The focus on Lightning protection and awareness is the need of hour. 100% Safety can be assured with installation of Lightning protection devices only, said he.

With sharp increase in lightning activities and so the fatalities, it has become important for stakeholders to address lightning risk management through a scientific approach.

Lightning strikes’s scientific mapping vis a vis impact analysis has been undertaken for the first time in India with the help of Lightning detection sensors held with Indian Institute of Tropical Management , Pune and the lightning flashes data available through Indian Meteorological Department and other satellites.

IMD’s unique product of 24 hours advance Lightning and thunderstorm forecast has been hallmark followed by nowcast providing 2-4 hours of advance warning which is actionable.

This has given much more lead time to community, state governments and other stakeholders to respond and save life.

The impact of same is visible due to reduction in fatalities in states like Odisha and others. Lightning Resilient India Campaign carrying the Lightning EW from IMD to states and to community at last mile has observed very encouraging participation from states like Karnataka, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and north eastern states.

In these states, despite increase in lightning strikes, the casualties are less as compared to previous years.

CROPC using the Indian Meteorological Department’s Lightning forecasts including nowcast, Indian Institute of Tropical M a n a g e m e n t ( I I T M ) , P u n e Lightning Network data, NRSC, ISRO inputs, other satellite’s data and ground based impacts reports received from the active network of Lightning Resilient India Campaign.

The network includes state governments, INGOs, Local NGOs, media etc. This is first ever scientific mapping of lightning strikes that is Lightning risk Map.

State Disaster Management Authorities can collaborate with CROPC for developing State Lightning Risk maps.

OSDMA has tied up with the USA based Earth Networks and installed lightning detection sensors to get alerts one hour before. The information is shared with the likely affected people through SMS, electronic channels and social media very effectively.

Lightning Arresters have been installed in all multipurpose cyclone shelters to protect the evacuees. A comprehensive lightning related education is imparted through text book lessons, familiarization exercises undertaken by ODRAF, school safety programs, said Bishnupada Sethi, SRC and MD OSDMA.

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