Lightning strikes kill 258 so far in 2017 across Odisha, India

Odisha Government on Tuesday formed an 'expert committee' to ascertain the reason behind lightning incidents and subsequent rise in casualties in the State due to the natural calamity.

At a review meeting held today, concerns were expressed over spurt in lightning strikes with an experts panel formed comprising officials of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty informed that, Odisha has registered a steep hike in casualties due to lighting strikes as on average 400 people are being killed annually.

The casualties are much more compared to other states with a total of 2,000 deaths being reported in the country every year. So far, 258 persons have been killed in separate lighting strike incidents in Odisha this year.

Official sources said, Odisha government has now decided to conduct a detailed study and analysis of the postmortem reports of the persons killed in the natural disaster.

Over 45 persons have been killed in the past fortnight while three fresh deaths were reported from Bhadrak yesterday.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupad Sethi said that apart from postmortem reports, a detailed analysis will be done regarding the timing of deaths, place whether urban or rural areas so as to chalk out a comprehensive strategy.

As per available statistics, lightning incidents are more frequent from May to August and such incidents are more in coastal belts in the state, said Sethi adding that massive awareness drives will also be conducted in several parts of the state.

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