Bhubaneswar, August 5, 2018: The Odisha Government is gearing up to host an international conference on thunderstorm and lightning. Lightning has become a major disaster in Odisha that claims more than 400 human lives on an average per year. The conference is scheduled to be held in January 2019.
A preparatory meeting was held on Saturday under the chairmanship of Disaster Management Commissioner-cum-Secretary and Managing Director, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) Bishnupada Sethi.
Leading institutions of Odisha like SOA, IMMT, ITER, IIT, IMS, Utkal University, IMD Bhubaneswar, Odisha Vigyan Academy, and senior officials from OSDMA and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) participated in the meeting.
The proposed international conference will attract local, national and international scholars, institutions and key players to explore multifarious windows for tracking, predicting, getting alerts and warnings on thunderstorm and lightning.
Two committees have been constituted to further the process of the International conference.
It may be noted here that 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 minimise the death toll through appropriate technological interventions.
In June a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between OSDMA and US-based Earth Networks for early weather warning, including lightning and thunderstorm alerts in the State. The system can predict lightning about 45 minutes in advance and can prevent eventuality.