Report on Celestial lightning
- According to a report published by the Climate Resilient Observation System Promotion Council, a greater number of Indians have died from celestial lightning. There have been 1,771 deaths due to lightning strikes in India between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020.
- In the year 2019-20, 33% of the total deaths due to natural disasters were due to celestial lightning. The number of deaths due to lightning has decreased by about 37% in the year 2019-20.
Meaning of celestial lightning:
- Normally this celestial lightning is generated in 10–12 km high humidity clouds, and this is the result of the difference of electric charge between the upper and lower part of the cloud. Inter-cloud and intra-cloud (IC) celestial lightning is easily observable and is harmless.
- Cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning originates between the cloud and the land and is as damaging as high electric voltage and electric current, which can also result in the death of a person.
- Rapid environmental degradation, such as global warming, deforestation, erosion of water bodies, increasing concretization, pollution and aerosols have brought climate change to an extreme level and aerial lightning is a direct effect of these climatic extremes.
- Incidents of lightning strikes occur in a similar pattern over a certain period and at approximately the same geographic locations.
- According to the Climate Resilient Observing System Promotion Council (CROPC), it is of paramount importance to pre-report lightning to save the lives of farmers, cattle herders, children and people in open areas.
- CROPC is a non-profit organization that works in coordination with the India Meteorological Department (Indian Meteorological Department IMD).
- To reduce deaths due to lightning, local lightning protection action plans, such as installing lightning protection devices, are needed.
- States should participate in the Lightning Resilient India campaign and comprehensively ensure greater lightning risk management.
- The Indian Meteorological Department has started a joint operation with the CROPC named Lightning Resilient India Campaign and it has been duly endorsed by the Indian Meteorological Society (Indian Meteorological Department-IMS), non-governmental organizations, IIT Delhi and other related institutions.
- Farmers, cattle rearers, children and people in open areas should be given an early warning regarding celestial electricity. The celestial lightning falls almost uniformly at the same geographical locations over a given period.
- Kalbaishakhi, Norvester, which is a strong storm with celestial lightning, is quite a violent These types of storms generally occur in Bengal.
- A local Lightning Protection Work Plan should be implemented like Lightning Protection devices.
- Deaths from celestial lightning should be notified as a disaster to prevent damage.
- It needs to be noted that the celestial lightning has not been notified by the Center as a disaster.
Source: Indian Express