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Odisha-USA firm join hands for early lightning detection system to reduce death toll

Bhubaneswar, June 13, 2018: The Odisha Government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with USA-based Earth Networks for early for early weather warning, including lightning and thunderstorm alerts in the State. The system can predict lightning about 45 minutes in advance. 

The MoU was signed between Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Earth Networks, a USA-based organisation in the presence of Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanaty.

Lightning has become a major disaster in Odisha that claims more than 400 human lives on an average per year. And to reduce the death toll, the State Government has decided to set up a lightning detection system.

On May 1, the Earth Networks had made a presentation on “Total Lightning Based Early Warning System” before the Chief Secretary AP Padhi in Odisha Secretariat where Networks’ Asia Region Regional Manager explained the benefits received by establishing a lightning detection system and proper alert system in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

He said through the above system, lightning strike can be predicted about 45 minutes in advance and highly accurate forecasts can be provided with precise location of the area likely to be affected.

This will facilitate dissemination of early warning through Mass Massaging and mobile-based application to the people of such localities enabling them to take suitable precautionary measures to save their lives.

In comparison with other natural calamities that cause more economic losses, the death toll due to lightning is much higher in Odisha.

As many as 456 human lives have been lost during the year 2017-18 due to lightning, which records a 15 per cent increase over that in the last year.

Besides raising awareness among people about the disaster and sharing safety tips, the state government is making all efforts to minimize the death toll through appropriate technological interventions.

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