Bhubaneswar: The number of human casualties due to lightning strikes in Odisha has declined by over 31 per cent due to use of early warning communication system.
Lightning deaths in the state declined to 320 in 2018-19 from 465 recorded in 2017-18, said the Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office in a statement on Sunday. As many as 401 lightning deaths were reported in 2015-16 and 2016-17 each, it said.
The State Relief Organisation and the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) have taken a number of steps to check the human casualties due to lightning strikes.
The OSDMA has collaborated with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), Thailand, to develop an integrated decision support system (DSS) for providing real time watch, alert and warning for natural hazards, like heatwave, lightning, droughts and floods.
An intelligent, automated system known as 'Outdoor Alerting System' has also been installed in 14 blocks, most vulnerable to lightning. The siren installed in this system automatically blows ahead of lightning, and also in case of severe weather conditions, to alert people.
According to data, about 85 per cent of lightning deaths occur in May to September.