Bhubaneswar: A total of 1621 persons have been killed in lightning strikes in Odisha in the last five years.
This was revealed by Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi today in Odisha Assembly in a written reply to a question by Congress MLA from Jeypore Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
According to the year-wise break-up of fatalities due to lightning strikes shared by the Minister, out of the total of 1621, 472 were killed in 2017-18, 340 in 2018-19, 357 in 2019-20, 274 in 2021. In the current year (2021-22), 178 persons have died in lightning strikes in the State so far.
Mayurbhanj district reported 161 deaths due to lightning strikes in the last five years being the highest followed by Ganjam 123, Keonjhar 119, Balasore 109, Cuttack 82 and Sundargarh 80.
Boudh district has reported the lowest number of deaths due to lightning strikes-12 in the last five years.
In addition to this, a total of 73 persons have been injured in lightning strikes in the State in the last five years.
Marndi informed that the State Government provides ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the family members of the person killed in a lightning strike from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The Minister has stated that the State Government has entered into an agreement with international organisation Earth Networks to get prior information on lightning strikes in the State.
The organisation has installed lightning detection sensors at eight places in the State-Keonjhar, Balangir, Berhampur, Jeypore, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar and Panikoili. These sensors can give prior information on lightning strikes within a radius of 200-250 km, the Minister added.