Though the lightning along with thunderstorm had claimed more lives in Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and Maharashtra compared to the top five that reported lightning episodes last year, the increase in number of such events, recorded by the Earth Networks — a private agency of a nationwide lightning detection network in India — shows vulnerability of most parts of the country.
The Earth Networks report, released on Monday, shows its network had detected nearly 39.6 million lightning pulses in India in 2020, of which just over 13 million were dangerous ‘cloud-to-ground’ strikes — the lightning which hit the ground, putting lives and property in danger.
“It’s a huge number which practically makes a large part of the country vulnerable,” Kumar Margasahayam of the Earth Networks, told TOI.
He said issuing timely alerts as part of a robust early warning system, dissemination of the alerts for vulnerable populations and creating awareness among people about the danger of lightning were the three crucial steps to save lives. “India is extremely susceptible to severe weather events,” he said.