Does lightning occur due to Kolkata’s geographical factor?
Kolkata’s geological location suggests that the place gets lots of lightning. It has become a hotspot of thunderbolts. Kolkata has experienced more than a third of the last two years’ natural calamity, death caused by the natural phenomenon. The most thing that to be worried about is it will only get worst in the upcoming years. There is a direct relation between climate change and lightning.
Kolkata and its cities are surprisingly are becoming more lightening prone, confirmed IITM-Pune project director Partha Sarathi Mukherjee( monsoon mission). In 2019-2020, 529 calamities struck Bengal and the people residing in the place. 278 which translates to 52.6% were caused by lightning itself alone. 2020-2021 this year was hotter compared to the other years, there were 299 lightning deaths caused in Kolkata out of 763. Which is 39.3% more in numbers. In the recent 2021-2022 years, we see that there have already been 266 lightning deaths recorded between April 1 to August 17.
Scientist has predicted and warned that the situation will only get worst in the coming times. The region of Kolkata and south Bengal has many chances and is the hotspot of lightning. A study has found a direct relationship between climate change, lightning, and death. More and more cases of lightning and deaths have occurred in years that have been hotter than others. Scientists have pointed out an important fact that lightning deaths did not always, reflected the frequency and intensity of lightning incidents.
“Overall lightning accounts for nearly a third of calamity deaths and caused damage to infrastructure worth billions of dollars. Yet it attracts little attention to policymakers. The power sector, for instance, is the worst sufferers. Only an early warning and an effective public alert system can save us”, said state additional Chief Secretary (power) S Suresh Kumar.
An officer of the Meteorological Department (IMD) Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, pointed out that the IMD does give us early warnings and alerts. He admitted that last-minute communication is still a very big challenge. ” Despite having multi-channel communication, somehow the last-mile gap sometimes remains unbridged. We might need to revive the old age method of blowing out sirens to warn farmers in the field or the workers at under-construction against the impending thunderstorm”, he said.
The level of the lightning threat is enormously determined by the change of the microphysical characteristics of the envision of the place that determines the energy level of each stroke. The more intense it becomes the more level of damages it can cause. The IITM-Pune scientists Sunil Pawar said the energy output of the source of lighting in West Bengal was much higher than that of Guwahati. So that makes lightning strike in the state of West Bengal more fierce.
“The lightning carries massive energy of 500 megajoules. This generates temperatures up to 50,000 degrees Celcius, which is ten times hotter than the sun. Though it has a very short lifespan. The impact is quite disastrous for the ferocity with which it hits objects,” said professor Anirban Guhu, he is a lightning expert at Tripura University.