Lightning has become a major disaster in the State of Odisha that claims more than 400 human lives on an average per year. In comparison with other natural calamities that causes more economic losses, the death toll due to lightning is much higher in Odisha. As many as 456 human lives have been lost during the year 2017-18 due to lightning, which records a 15% increase over that of the last year. Besides raising awareness among the people about the disaster and the safety tips, the State Government is making all out efforts to minimize the death toll through appropriate technological interventions.
The Earth Networks, a USA based organization made a presentation on ‘TOTAL LIGHTNING BASED EARLY WARNING SYSTEM’ before the Chief Secretary in Odisha Secretariat today. Among others, the Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Finance Department Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandey and Special Relief Commissioner & Managing Director, OSDMA Shri Bishnupada Sethi were present during the presentation. Senior level scientists and experts invited from reputed institutions like IIT, Bhubaneswar, IISc, Bengaluru, NRSC, Hyderabad, ORSAC, IMD, Bhubaneswar also attended the presentation and participated in the discussions.
The Regional Manager, Asia Region of Earth Networks, explained the advantages of establishment of lightning detection system and having proper alert system in the State of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He added that through the above system, lightning strike can be predicted about 45 minutes in advance and highly accurate forecasts 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.
Officials from Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Office of Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha were also present in the meeting.