Experts’ panel soon to check lightning deaths in Odisha

KalingaTV News Network

17 districts sounded Thunderstorm, LightningBhubaneswar: The Odisha government today decided to form an experts’ committee comprising members from the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and the office of the Special Relief Commissioner to look into the reasons for the high number of deaths due to lightning in the state and find ways to check them.

Informing about the decision after a high level meeting on the issue here today, Revenue and Disaster Management minister Maheswar Mohantya said it was a matter of serious concern since the number of casualties due to lightning is unusually high in Odisha. Out of an average of 2, 000 deaths caused by lightning strikes in the country every year, 400 of them took place in Odisha alone, he pointed out.

Sources in the department revealed that with over four and a half months still to go, the state had already recorded 258 deaths this year, 45 of them in the last fortnight alone. Three lightning deaths were reported from Bhadrak district on Monday, the sources said.

Briefing media persons about today’s decision, SRC Bishnupada Sethi said the proposed experts’ committee would go into the reasons and circumstances in great detail. Among other things, it would study the occurrence pattern, the geographical distribution and post mortem reports to arrive at a conclusion about the high casualty figure and find ways to arrest the number of deaths. A massive awareness would be part of the campaign to bring down the number of deaths due to lightning, the SRC said.

What is, however, already known is that a majority of lightning incidents take place in coastal areas between May and August this year, sources said.

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