As many as five persons including three minors were killed in separate incidents of lightning strikes across Odisha on Tuesday.
Four casualties due to lightning were reported from Mayurbhanj district while Dhenkanal district recorded one death.
In Mayurbhanj district, two minor boys and one teenage girl were killed by a lightning strike in Baghuashala village under Chandua police limits near Baripada.
According to sources, the trio were out on the field to graze goats when rain accompanied by thunderstorm lashed the area. They ran for cover and took shelter under a tree when a bolt of lightning hit them, leaving them critically injured. As many as 18 goats were also killed in the lightning incident.
The trio was rushed to Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital, Baripada where doctors pronounced them dead. The deceased were identified as Babula Nayak (16), a Class X student, Barsa Nayak (12), a Class VI student and Sujit Nayak (14), who studied in Class IX.
A woman also died in lightning at Badamachana under Suliapada police limits in the district.
In Dhenkanal district, one person died and three others were injured in lightning at Mahuliapasi village.
Yesterday, OTV carried a report that thunderbolt strikes on Odisha have increased by around 37 per cent during the year 2020-21. Despite the increase in lightning strikes, the toll in the State due to the thunderbolts has declined. When a total of 207 deaths had taken place in the State in 2019-20, the toll dropped to 156 in 2020-21, the OTV report said.
On the media report on lightning, State Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena stressed on installation of lightning arresters in all public buildings.
“Odisha State Disaster Management Authority has done quite a few things on lightning but a lot more is required in sensitising public on how to deal with lightning and how to prevent casualty besides making people aware about fixing lightning arresters in their houses,” Jena tweeted.
“All public buildings must install lightning arresters. More particularly, hospitals, schools, colleges, AWCs, PRI buildings must be retrofitted with lightning arresters on priority to prevent lightning-related casualties. Let’s act fast,” he added.