UP, Bihar continue to witness higher deaths due to lightning strikes

New Delhi, June 16 :Madhya Pradesh, which has registered the highest cloud-to-ground strikes, has recorded 350 deaths whereas states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar incur double the losses with half the strikes, the Annual Lightning Report 2021-22, released on Thursday, said.

Overall during this year, there has been a 19.48 per cent decrease in total lightning strikes in the country, of which, the reduction in Cloud to Ground (CGs) lightning was only 2.5 per cent.

In absolute numbers, total lightning strikes have reduced from 1,85,44,367 strikes in 2019-2020 to 1,49,31,365 strikes in 2020-2021, a decrease of 36,13,002 strikes, due to Covid-19 related lockdown that led to reduced human activities.

"Madhya Pradesh continues to be at the top with highest lighting strikes. Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh have witnessed more strikes compared to Odisha. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan remain states with more than two lakh CGs," the report said.

The Annual Lightning Report 2021-2022 is the third annual report of the Lightning Resilient India Campaign, a joint initiative of the Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

"More than 1.6 million volunteers from World Vision India, Indian Red Cross Society and NGOs across the country contributed shoulder to shoulder in dissemination and implementation of lightning resilience actions plans up to last mile. The reduction of deaths by more than 60 per cent in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland are testimony to it," said Sanjay Srivastava of CROPC at the launch of the event.

"Yet the challenges of reducing deaths in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remains as these three states witness more than 60 per cent human losses due to lightning," he said and hoped that the per cent goes down to 40 per cent by the end of the year.

The Report also contains 'Lightning Atlas of India' with micro-zonation done up to district level. It contains mapping of entire lightning strikes over India for all 37 states and Union Territories along with its impacts and detailed analysis. CROPC aims to develop climatology of lightning over a period of at least five years in order to "de-mystify lightning complexities."


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