Even as Odisha has ensured zero casualty due to natural calamities, the shocker is the State tops the country in accidental deaths due to unknown or unspecified forces of nature last year.
As per the NCRB Report 2020 on Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India, Odisha with a total of 1,428 deaths topped the country.
A detailed glance reveals big. The State had recorded 275 deaths due to lightning, 15 in landslides, 13 in sunstrokes, 7 due to cold wave and nil due to cyclone. Significantly, Odisha wasn't hit by any cyclone in 2020. Cyclone deaths recorded highest in West Bengal that had witnessed Super Cyclone Amphan in May 2020.
But the State topped the country by virtue of causes other than above or say unspecified natural forces. The State had recorded a massive 1118 deaths. In 2019, the deaths by forces of nature (other causes) stood at 1078.
In 2016, Odisha had recorded 467 deaths due to forces of nature. Lightning then accounted for 80 per cent or 376 deaths. In 2020, the deaths due to lightning had decreased to 275 in Odisha. The lightning deaths in 2019 were 271.
In 2019, deaths due to sunstroke or heatwave was a high of 84. Despite being hit by furious extremely severe cyclone Fani, the deaths stood at 14. The State recorded only a single death due to the cold wave in 2019.
Significantly, Odisha is the only State in the country to record the highest deaths in the category of natural causes other than floods, coldwave, heat wave, lightning deaths, landslides, tornado, torrential rains, forest fire and epidemic.
The national highest deaths due to other causes of nature in Odisha raise eyebrows, as the specified causes were not mentioned despite taking the highest toll over the years. Because, during the period of 2015-2020, the deaths due to unspecified natural forces had risen by a massive 175 percent in the State. The deaths in Odisha due to unspecified natural causes were 519 in 2015.