Sunday, September 17, 2023

Palm Sunday

With Franceska Fournier:

With an aim to protect human lives from lightning strikes through traditional ways, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu has asked the Forest and Agriculture Departments to take up massive palm tree plantations.

He gave the instruction while holding a high-level meeting with the senior officials of both departments.

Taking to twitter, the SRC said, “Inter-departmental meeting held by SRC for undertaking disaster-resilient projects under Disaster Mitigation Fund. @ForestDeptt & @krushibibhag asked to take up massive palm tree plantations in reserve forest areas and other vulnerable districts as a lightning mitigation measure.”

The SRC’s directive came in the wake of the death of at least 12 people on September 2 due to lightning strikes. As many as 281 lightning deaths were reported in 2021-22, most of them from rural areas.

Stating that environmentalists and weather experts have opined that rampant felling of palm trees has prevented protection against lightning, the meeting resolved for large-scale plantation of palm trees in rural areas.

Most of the lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors during the afternoon and evening. The victims are agriculture workers or day-labourers and the lone bread earners of their families.

According to experts, palm tree plantation was a traditional practice in villages, but it has now been discontinued due to urbanisation and development.

Lightning usually hits the tallest object first. The palm tree being the tallest among other trees in its surroundings works as a lightning conductor, decreasing deaths from the thunderbolt, said local weather experts.

The deaths from lightning strikes are now much higher than that of cyclones, floods and other disasters in the country.

 Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links. The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: Farm Girls up for your digital delight.

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