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Odisha sees 280 lightning deaths in only five months this year

Bhubaneswar, August 11, 2017: The lightning death count in the five-month span from April to August (till date) this year stood at 280, said a Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) communiqué.

The deaths occurred in 29 of 30 districts. While the highest number 30 causalities were reported in Ganjam and Mayurbhanj districts, 24 deaths were recorded in Balaosre, 17 in Bhadrak, 16 in Keonjhar, 15 each in Jajpur and Kendrapara, 13 in Koraput, 12 in Nabarangpur, and 11 each in Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Bargarh, eight in Sundargarh, seven each in Angul, Kalahandi, Khordha and Nuapada, six in Puri, five each in Balangir and Sambalpur, four in Nayagarh, three each in Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal and Rayagada, two in Deogarh and one each in Boudh and Malkangiri, it said.

No death was reported from Subarnapur district.

Of the total 180 deaths, a total of 206 (73.57%) were male while 74 were (26.43%) female. Most of the 92 (32.86%) deaths occurred in the month of June while 88 (31.43%) deaths occurred in July, 28 (10%) in August (so far) and eight (2.86%) in April.

While a total of 157 or 56.07% of those killed belonged to the age group between 15 and 45, 72 or 25.71% belonged to the age group between 46 and 60. A total of 27 children (9.64%) upto the age of 14 died due to lightning strikes.

Another 24 persons (8.57%) who were killed were aged 61 and above.

Of the total deaths, at least 94 persons (33.57%) were struck by lightning when they were working in paddy fields while 59 persons (21.07%) and 40 persons (14.29%) were struck when they were near their house and open fields, respectively.

Lightning struck 8.21% people while they were inside the house while 33 persons (11.79%) died after being struck by lightning when they stood under trees and 23 persons (8.21%) died as they were travelling on the road while four persons were killed while they were bathing in ponds or tube wells.

Another three died while riding bikes while one person died while standing on the roof top, the release added.

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