Odisha signs MoU with US-company for lightning early warning

Odisha government today signed an MoU with an US-based company for detection of precise location of areas likely to be affected by lightning strikes before 45 minutes of the occurrence, officials said.

Managing Director of the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority B P Sethi signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Earth Networks.

Besides lightning, the proposed facility will also give early weather warning like thunderstorm alerts, they said.

Sethi said Earth Networks has the expertise on providing lightning early warning service in more than 50 countries and also providing service to West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

With Earth Networks informing on locations of possible lightning, the state government will ensure dissemination of early warning through mass messaging and mobile-based application to the people of such localities enabling them to take suitable precautionary measures to save their lives.

Lightning has become a major natural disaster in Odisha as more than 460 people were killed in lightning strikes during the year 2017-2018.

Sethi said Earth Networks already has lightning sensors in the region and will install additional sensors in Odisha as needed to cover the entire state.

The system will also predict hailstorm and dangerous thunderstorm, he said.