Odisha's Balasore to get country's first thunderstorm research testbed IMD

    Bhubaneswar, Feb 5 (PTI) Odisha's Balasore will get
the country's first thunderstorm research testbed, the India
Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
    The objective of setting up the thunderstorm testbed
is to minimalise human fatalities and loss of property due to
lightning strikes.
    IMD Director-General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, while
speaking with a private television channel, also revealed that
a first-of-its-kind monsoon testbed is also being planned near
    Both the projects are in the planning stage and
detailed project reports are being made, he said.
    He said the thunderstorm testbed will be established
in a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences,
IMD, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
    "The IMD, ISRO and DRDO already have their units in
Balasore. Observatories will be set up to cater to nearby
areas and studies on thunderstorms will be conducted on the
testbed," he said.
    Mohapatra, often referred to as the 'Cyclone Man of
India' for his accurate prediction of cyclones in the Indian
subcontinent, pointed out that many lives are lost in Odisha,
West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand due to lightning strikes
every year between April and June.
    More than 350 people are killed on an average in
lightning strikes in Odisha every year, official sources said.
    The state has lost 3,218 lives to lightning strikes in
nine years till 2019-20.
    Over 400 people were killed in lightning strikes in
2016-17, while 470 lives were lost in 2017-18 and 334 in
2018-19, they added. PTI AAM ACD

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)