Bhubaneswar:18/1/19: The Central government is developing a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to warn people about impending thunderstorm and lightning activity in a particular area, said the Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Dr KJ Ramesh on Thursday.
“The model has already been tested and a message could be sent into all active cell phones in a particular area alerting people about the possibility of lightning,” Ramesh said at the International Conference on Thunderstorm and Lightning in Tropics (ICTLT) which began at the SOA Deemed to be University here.
Prediction of thunderstorm and lightning would be possible by studying satellite and radar pictures and collating data from other sources, he said.
The three-day conference, being attended by over 200 scientists, researchers, academicians, planners and other stakeholders from India and several other countries including USA and South Africa, has been jointly organised by the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC), SOA Deemed to be University, in collaboration with other organizations.
The event was inaugurated by Odisha’s minister for higher education and industries, Ananta Das, who urged researchers to find solutions to nature’s fury as lightning caused 1560 deaths in the state within the last four years.
Stating that he had witnessed the death of three youths who were struck by lightning, the Minister said nature’s behaviour had become erratic and Odisha was prone to many extreme weather events including thunderstorm, lightning, heavy rainfall, heat wave, cyclone and flood.
Complimenting the Odisha government for initiating proactive steps in building proper infrastructure to ensure the safety of people during natural hazards, Ramesh said the administration had built a large number of cyclone shelters along the coast which were maintained very well.
Dr MN Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and chairman, Earth System Science Organization (ESSO), said though Odisha was vulnerable to natural calamities it had emerged as a model in disaster management.
Referring to thunderstorms and lightning, he said it was difficult to predict such natural hazards because of their brief lifespan. The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and ESSO had developed an app known as ‘Damini’ which could monitor all lightning activities and alert the people.
Among others, Prof UC Mohanty, Emeritus Professor, IIT, Bhubaneswar and Prof Amit Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor, SOA, also spoke.
The conference has been supported by Bhubaneswar chapter of Indian Meteorological Society, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Earth Networks, USA and RIMES, Bangkok.