Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 13:
At least four persons were killed in Odisha and several others sustained burn injuries in separate incidents as lightning struck them on Thursday afternoon.
Besides, hailstorm threw life out of gear for a brief period in the state capital and adjoining areas.
One Birakishore Sahu (46) of Badaora village under Kanas block in Puri district was killed when lightning struck him while he had taken shelter under a thatched house. While Sahu was killed on the spot, two other villagers—Bimbadhar Sahu (30) and Sagar Pradhan (40)—sustained burn injuries.
While they were working in the field, unexpected rainfall occurred at around 3 PM in the afternoon. When it continued for a while, the trio took shelter under a thatched house to get relief from the downpour. However, lightning struck the shanty killing Birakishore and injuring the other two as the hut caught fire.
In another incident, a shepherd was killed at Dholamara village under Rajnagar block in Kendrapara district while guarding the livestock. The deceased, identified as Jumar Das, died on the spot on Thursday afternoon.
Besides, a young woman was killed in lightning strike while she was cleaning utensils. The victim Dolly Dalei (20) from Manduka village under Badchana block in Jajpur district died on the spot.
Apart from this, Sura Manhira (42) of Binjhbahal village under Telkoi police station limits in Keonjhar district was killed in the lightning while his nephew Naren Manhira (25) was seriously injured while they were working in the watermelon field. Naren has been admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries.
The capital city also bore the brunt of nature’s fury following a hailstorm in the afternoon bringing life to a grinding halt. The hour-long rain accompanied by hailstorm caused damage to gardens, kitchen gardens and properties too.
However, no casualties were reported in the city.
The weather was clear and had no indication of rain in the first half of the day. However, rain and thunder squalls which lashed the city at around 3 PM took everybody by surprise.
Thick blankets of snow balls brought delight to the denizens as many were seen collecting the hail balls.
Thunder squalls accompanied by heavy rain lashed the city bringing down the temperature significantly. The city recorded a rainfall of 15.4 mm at a wind speed of 47 kmph.
The hailstorm accompanied by rain was triggered by the formation of two cyclonic circulations over Gangetic West Bengal and neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the Regional MeT office sources said.
MeT officials have predicted that thunder squall accompanied with hail may occur in many parts of coastal Odisha in the next 24 hours and wind speed may reach 60kmph.
In Bhubaneswar, BJB Nagar, Laxmisagar, Old Town, Jharpada, Samantarapur, Kalpana and other areas witnessed hailstorm.
‘‘The hail around 3-4 mm hit the plants in our garden and damaged almost all of it. Besides, it has also created cracks in the glass window shields,’’ a resident of Old Town area said.
Similar conditions may prevail on Friday following which the day temperature is likely to from February 15, a weather official said.