Odisha hosts global conference on thunderstorm lightning in tropics  


Bhubaneswar:  Around 200 scientists, academicians, operational researchers, planners and stakeholders at different levels coming from across the globe will attend an international conference on thunderstorm lightning in tropics (ICTLT) starting from Thursday at the SOA University here.

Official statistics over the last five decades revealed that lightning caused around 3,000 deaths in the country annually accounting for about 39 per cent of all natural disasters.

Of these, an average of 400 lightning related casualties occurred in Odisha alone.

The conference aims to reduce the adverse impact of these extreme weather phenomena and develop community adaptation strategies.

The global meet is jointly being organised by Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC), SOA, and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), from January 17 to 19.

Several organisations like the Earth Network of USA, Bhubaneswar chapter of Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and RIMES, Bangkok were supporting the event.

The conference would also seek to address these issues and recommend measures for adaptation and mitigation of such extreme events for sustainable development.

“These recommendations for appropriate intervention for reducing loss of life and property due to such natural hazards will impact not only Odisha but also the entire country,” said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

Sethi said Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Ganjam, Keonjhar, Cuttack, Sundargarh and Bhadrak were among the districts which registered the most number of lightning strikes and casualties. At least 122 alert systems has been installed along the Odisha coast through which people could be alerted about any possible natural calamity including cyclones and floods.

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