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Business News/ News / India/  Bihar tops list of states with maximum deaths due to lightning strikes since 2019
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Bihar tops list of states with maximum deaths due to lightning strikes since 2019

Bihar witnessed a jump of 81% in such deaths from 221 deaths reported during April 2019 and March 2020 to 401 during April 2020 and March 2021
  • Bihar saw a 168% increase in lightning strikes in 2020-21, followed by Haryana 164%, Puducherry 117%, Himachal Pradesh 105%, and West Bengal 100%
  • Lightning strikes are pictured during a thunderstorm (REUTERS)Premium
    Lightning strikes are pictured during a thunderstorm (REUTERS)

    Lightning in India has appeared as the biggest cause of death by forces of nature in the country.

    This week, on Sunday, lightning strikes killed at least 70 people in different parts of the country, including Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

    According to India's second annual Lightning Report, Bihar has reported the most deaths due to lightning between April 1, 2020- March 31, 2021 (401 deaths), followed by Uttar Pradesh ( 238 deaths), Madhya Pradesh (228), Odisha (156), and Jharkhand (132), respectively.

    Other states reported less than 100 deaths in the same period, as per the report.

    Majorly, states have reported a decline in deaths due to thunderbolt strikes between 2019 and 2020, barring Bihar.

    Instead, Bihar witnessed a jump of 81% in such deaths from 221 deaths reported during April 2019 and March 2020 to 401 during April 2020 and March 2021.

    Further, there has been a 34% rise in Lightning strikes in the country. It has advanced from 1.38 crore strikes in 2019-2020 to 1.85 crore strikes in 2020-2021, an increase of 46,83,989 strikes.

    Among the states, Punjab reported a 331% rise in thunderbolt strikes as per the annual lightning report 2020-21.

    Bihar saw a 168% increase in lightning strikes in 2020-21, followed by Haryana 164%, Puducherry 117%, Himachal Pradesh 105%, and West Bengal 100%, respectively, it added.

    Lightning is a huge spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. There are three kinds of lightning--Inter-cloud; Intra-cloud, and Cloud-to-ground. As per the report, humans are killed because of cloud-to-ground lightning.

    Reason for deaths due to lightning

    According to the report, the most number of deaths are due to people standing under isolated tall trees. The report mentioned that 705 fatalities due to lightning strikes have happened when people stand under an isolated tree. And, about 25% of the people were struck in open.

    The Odisha-West Bengal-Jharkhand belt is more prone as lightning strikes originate from Chot Nagpur Plateau and extended to Bangladesh to Patkai plateau of Meghalaya.

    How to minimise deaths due to lightning?

    "It is recommended that states should undertake lightning micro-zonation for geographical region-wise precise handling of the risk. The Lightning Risk Management programme for each state has to be customised as per seasonality, intensity, and frequency of lightning," the report said.

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also does lightning forecasts and gives colour-coded warnings for incidents.

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    Published: 13 Jul 2021, 06:32 AM IST
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