Unmasking Bihar’s Silent Killer: The Alarming Surge in Lightning Deaths

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               Image Source- Google| Image By-Oneindia

Rain, often a source of joy, brings more than just happiness in Bihar. It brings with it lightning, thunderstorms, floods, and, sadly, thousands of deaths. Lightning occurs due to the friction of clouds in the sky, generating electricity and resulting in a negative charge. Simultaneously, the earth carries a positive charge. These opposite charges attract each other, and when a conductor comes between them, an electric discharge occurs, leading to lightning striking the earth.

Why has lightning become more catastrophic than any other disaster, apart from floods, in Bihar?

The death toll due to lightning strikes in Bihar has been steadily increasing each year. Let’s take a look at the figures:2016: 114 deaths
2017: 180 deaths
2018: 140 deaths
2019: 253 deaths
2020: 459 deaths
2021: 300 deaths
2022: 375 deaths
2023 (so far): 50 deaths

Nearly 2000 people have lost their lives in Bihar due to lightning strikes over the past 5-7 years. Shockingly, 75% of these deaths occurred while individuals were standing under trees, with the remaining 25% in open areas. This data reveals that the majority of casualties are among the poor, including farmers and cattle grazers.

The severity of the issue came to the forefront when 83 people lost their lives in a single day due to lightning strikes three years ago. In recent years, Bihar has witnessed an 81% jump in deaths and a staggering 168% increase in lightning strikes. Overall, India has experienced a 34% rise in lightning strikes. However, Bihar remains at the top of the list in terms of lightning-related casualties.

These statistics paint a bleak picture of Bihar’s struggle with lightning strikes and the unfortunate loss of lives, especially among its impoverished population. Officials often attribute the increased lightning strikes to climate change and weather patterns.

                                                  Image Source- Google| Image By-BBC

Efforts by the Bihar Government to Reduce Casualties

In an attempt to mitigate the number of casualties, the Bihar Chief Minister has directed the disaster management authorities to create an alarm and awareness system to alert people. One year ago, the government launched the Indravajra app, designed to notify individuals 30 minutes prior to an impending lightning strike. However, this initiative has not yielded significant results, as many poor people in Bihar cannot afford smartphones. Additionally, farmers who work in the fields are unable to use phones while they are laboring.

As an alternative, the Disaster Management Department (DMD) has decided to install hooters in villages, particularly in rural areas that are most affected by lightning strikes. These alarm systems will produce sound that can be heard within a 5 km radius, providing farmers and residents with a warning about an approaching lightning strike within the next half-hour. The government has also planned to install lightning arrestors in government buildings. Although these measures are commendable, their implementation in most rural areas is yet to be seen.

                                           Image Source- Google| Image By-The news Indian express

Additional Steps to Reduce Casualties and Raise Awareness:

To curb casualties and increase awareness, the government has already initiated the “Surakshit Shanivaar-Safe Saturday” program in all government schools. Every Saturday, students are taught about different types of disasters and their management, including lightning strikes and ways to protect themselves. Making Saturday attendance mandatory for all students would ensure that more individuals have the opportunity to learn about disaster management. The government can also encourage schools to form awareness campaign groups, consisting of a teacher and 25 students, who would visit different villages in their respective areas to educate farmers about lightning strikes. This initiative would significantly raise awareness among the rural farming community.

“Article Credit- Skywalker”

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0 thoughts on “Unmasking Bihar’s Silent Killer: The Alarming Surge in Lightning Deaths”

  1. The way you expressed this issue with facts and data was incredible.Great job brother❤️. Waiting for the next one on water conservation

  2. The way you expressed this issue with facts and data was incredible.Great job brother❤️. Waiting for the next one on water conservation

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