Lightning incidents have caused the most deaths – 907 – so far this year, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday as it tabled the details about casualties due to disastrous weather events.
According to information given by Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, disastrous weather events have caused 2,183 deaths across the country this year.
Lightning was the cause of 907 deaths, followed by floods and heavy rains (804 deaths), thunderstorms (371), snowfall (37), heatwave (30), dust storm (22), gale (10), and one death each due to cold wave and squall. There were zero deaths due to cyclonic storms this year, Singh said.
He said the country had witnessed 566 lightning events, 240 thunderstorms, 37 heatwave events, eight instances of gale winds and seven snowfall events.
Singh said the India Meteorological Department has launched Mausam App for dissemination of information about weather forecasts, Meghdoot App for circulation of Agromet advisories and Damini App for issuing lightning alerts.
In a reply to a separate question, Singh said though there has been a noteworthy decrease in the death toll due to cyclones in recent years, containing damage and economic loss associated with the weather event was still a challenge.
Singh said various structural measures with multi-institutional support at national and state level are required to reduce damage due to cyclones.