Lightning Be Declared a Natural Disaster:
Recently few States have demanded that “lightning” be declared as a “natural disaster” because deaths caused by it surpass any other disaster in India.
- Presently Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost, and cold waves are covered under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which is 75% funded by the Centre.
- According to a newly published yearly report on lightning from the Lightning Resilient India Campaign (LRIC), India may have seen up to 18.5 million lightning strikes between April 2020 and March 2021.
- Each year, lightning claims the lives of more than 2,500 Indians.
- Madhya Pradesh had the highest number of lightning-related deaths (162), followed by Maharashtra (121), Gujarat (72), Bihar (70), Rajasthan (49), and Chhattisgarh (40).
- India has experienced 90,632 deaths due to lightning strikes between 1972 and 2019.
- The Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2021 report confirms that 40.4% of deaths due to natural disasters took place due to lightning.
- 77% of farmers are killed due to lightning as they work in agricultural fields during the Kharif cropping season in the monsoon period.
- It is the natural process of “an electrical discharge of very little duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud,” accompanied by a bright flash, a loud sound, and occasionally thunderstorms.