Pact For Lightning Detect

Seriously concerned over the rising number of deaths due to lightning in Odisha, the State Government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US-based firm Earth Networks to install lightning detection systems in the State.

Most of the hapless rural poor, mostly farmers and agricultural workers are facing the wrath of this natural tragedy at alarming regularity. 

The total number of reported deaths due to different disasters during last three years—from 2015-16 to 2017-18 is 4,689.  

On an average, 419 deaths occur per annum in the State and it is on rise causing concern for the State Administration.  

Out of this, the number of deaths due to lightning accounts for about 27 percent of total number of disaster casualties. 

So Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) roped in Earth Networks to take care one of the biggest disaster.
Bishnupada Sethi on behalf of State Government signed the MoU in the presence of Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty for early weather warning like lightning, thunderstorm alerts etc.
The US firm has the expertise on providing lightning early warning services in more than 50 countries and also providing services to states like West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Earth Networks already has lightning sensors in the region and will install additional sensors in Odisha as needed to cover the entire state.
The system would predict the lightning about 45 minutes in advance.  This would also be helpful in prediction of hail winds, hail storms, dangerous thunderstorms.

The highly accurate forecasts can be provided with precise location of the area likely to be affected.
This will facilitate dissemination of early warning through Mass Massaging and mobile-based application to the people of such localities enabling them to take suitable precautionary measures to save their lives.
Notably, lightning has emerged as a major disaster during the recent time and as many as 460 human lives have been lost during 2017-18 due to lightning—a 15 per cent increase over that in the last year.
The State Government has enlisted lightning as state-specific disaster enabling the dependants of the victims to get Rs 4 lakh as compensation.
Massive awareness campaign in Television and Media has been initiated by the State Government and posters & leaflets have been distributed in the villages.
Besides raising awareness among people about the disaster and sharing safety tips, the state government is making all out efforts to minimize the death toll through appropriate technological interventions.

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