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Odisha to form panel to study spurt in deaths due to lightning


Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the ever-increasing number of deaths due to lightning strikes in the state, the Odisha government today decided to constitute a panel of experts to study causes behind the spurt in such deaths.

Further, the government will undertake awareness campaigns to curb such deaths.

This was informed by Revenue and Disaster Mitigation Minister Maheswar Mohanty after a review meeting at the state secretariat here today.

“We can create awareness among the people. The first half an hour after starting of rains is the most important, if people remain aware during this period, casualties can be avoided,” said Maheswar Mohanty talking to reporters after the meeting.

The expert committee will comprise of officials from Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) and Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC).

Notably, according to government reports, Odisha has the highest number deaths due to lightning strikes in the country with 400 per year against the national total of 2,000. This year lightning strikes this year have claimed 258 lives so far.

The expert committee members from OSDMA will examine/analyze post-mortem reports of the 258 persons killed in lightning strikes. They will in detail find out how, where and under what conditions and circumstances these people had died.

Earlier, only Disaster Mitigation Department was involved in creating awareness among the people to avoid such deaths. Now, five more departments will be involved in awareness creation which includes Panchayati Raj, Labour, School & Mass Education, Agriculture, and Energy.