Super technology for early warning system on lightning in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has initiated steps for adoption of super technology for early warning system about lightning in Odisha Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA).

The possibilities of early detection and warning lightning were deliberated in a high-level meeting held on Tuesday at secretariat conference hall.

State Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said,“Hitherto lightning has been an instant killer and devastator. In the year 2016-17, this disaster has taken 456 lives which are 15% higher than the death toll in 2015-16. Govt is granting Rs.4 lakh each as ex-gratia in lightning death cases”.

He further mentioned, “Danger of lightning is increasing day by day with the increase in global warming. Application of technology may help to arrest its effects.”

The US-based Lightning analyzing system ‘Earth Network’ made a presentation.

Considering views expressed by the experts and scientists present in the meeting, Chief Secretary AP Padhi directed OSDMA to prepare the project proposal for consideration of the government.

Padhi further added that the project proposal should specifically mention about location-specific prediction, accuracy level, dissemination and advance alert to the people.

Development Commissioner R.Balakrishnan advised integrating of the system with existing early warning dissemination system.

The Chief Secretary said, “More than 450 people in our state have lost their lives last year because of lightning. Each human life is precious for the State. The early warning system about lightning has shown positive results in some states and we will examine the utility and applicability of the system in our State for saving the life and property of the people from lightning.

Chief Executive of ORSAC Dr Sandeep Tripathy said, “The early detection of lightning is feasible and it has been possible in some places. The lightning can be noticed in the cloud 30 to 45 minutes ahead of its ground falling through the application of supper censors.

The prediction can be made on the basis of scientific processing of the signals and the historical database. Once detected the probability of its ground fall can be calculated on the basis of GIS maps collected through remote sensing and the warning can be disseminated to people for taking precautions. This will save the life of the people”.

Discussions in the meeting revealed that Pulse Rad technology would be used. Censors would be fixed in definite locations to receive signals from the Rad. Prediction once finalized would be disseminated through SMS, Mobile Apps, radio and TV.

The system would also be helpful in prediction of hail winds, hail storms, dangerous thunderstorm, flood and draught predictions.