Lightning has emerged as a major disaster during the recent time. As many as 460 human lives have been lost during the year 2017-18 due to lightning, which records a 15% increase over that in the last year. Concerned over the rising number of deaths due to lightning in Odisha, the State Government has taken all out efforts to mitigate the effects of lightning. The state government listed lightning as state-specific disaster enabling the dependants of the victims to get Rs 4.00 lakh as compensation. Massive awareness campaign in TV and media has been initiated by the 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.
The State Government has decided to have collaboration with the USA-based firm “Earth Networks” to install lightning detection systems in the State. The Earth Networks has the expertise on providing lightning early warning services in more than 50 countries and also providing services to West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states.
Shri Bishnupada Sethi, IAS, Managing Director, OSDMA, on the behalf of State Government signed an MoU with the Earth Networks in presence of Hon’ble Minister, Revenue and Disaster Management, Government of Odisha on 13.06.2018 for early weather warning like lightning, thunderstorm alerts etc.
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. The system 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.
Signing of MoU between OSDMA and Earth Networks for setting up of Lightning Detection and Warning System in Odisha in presence of Hon'ble Minister, Revenue & Disaster Management on 13th June, 2018.