Uttar Pradesh has been witnessing a surge in deaths due to lightning strikes. Despite the unpredictable nature of a lightning strike, the state government is trying to minimize the loss of life by sending alerts to users who are in areas that might receive lightning strikes.
The Uttar Pradesh government is working on a system to alert people on their mobile phones about any possibility of a lightning strike through a process called nowcast.
The plan is to introduce forecast and instant warning (nowcast) system to prevent accidents by alerting people beforehand. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is working with the state government and is planning to introduce this alert system across the state soon.
Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal told IANS, “A large number of people are dying in the lightning strikes in the state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had expressed concern over the loss of life due to natural calamities and directed to take necessary steps to prevent deaths due to lightning. Since then we have started efforts in this regard.”
“The IMD predicts three to four days before about the areas where there is a possibility of lightning to strike,” he said.
The official claims that the system will give a more accurate warning two-three hours in advance. In order to provide the critical information in time to people in potentially dangerous areas, the website of the Relief Department is being linked to the IMD website.
Once the alert is featured on the website of the Relief Department, within a few minutes, a web-based warning message will be sent to the mobile phones of the people. This will make them careful, said Goyal
In order to make the alert system more effective and to increase the reach, the alert message would be sent to the village Pradhan, Gram Panchayat Secretary, Lekhpal, ASHA and Anganwadi workers, self-help groups, NGOs and social workers.
He said that the “Damini” mobile app also provides alerts about the lightning incidents. “More and more people should download this app. By this, they will get regular lightning alerts. Awareness will also be brought about in the public”.