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Odisha: Lightning strikes school, 10 students injured

Kids with burns have been shifted to hospital for treatment
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

Subhashish Mohanty   |   Bhubaneswar   |   Published 20.08.22, 01:24 AM

Ten students at a primary school in Deogarh district of Odisha were critically injured after lightning struck the school building on Friday.

The students with burns have been shifted to hospital for treatment. All of them were in a state of panic.

The incident took place at Puturapashi School under Tileibani block, about 270km from here. The incident comes at a time when the flood situation in the state continues to be grim.

The state is also expecting a flood in the northern part because of the heavy rainfall caused by a  deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. The flood situation in the Mahanadi basin also remains grim.

Deputy collector, Deogarh, Sipra Sethy told The Telegraph, “By God’s grace all the children  have been saved. They are under a kind of trauma. This incident took place around 12.30pm today. The lighting struck a wooden pole near the school building when all of them were in a classroom. The student belongs to Class I to Class III. Around 17 students were present in the school.”

She said: “While three students were discharged immediately, the rest were admitted to the hospital. All are recuperating. We are relieved.”

The lightning left a hole in the roof of the classroom.

In Cuttack, a 16-year-old boy was killed and two others were injured in a lightning strike in the Mahanga block on Friday afternoon. The deceased has been identified as Suresh Jena. He was working along with his family members in the agricultural field when they were hit by the lightning. Reports of two deaths due to a landslide were reported in Koraput district in southern Odisha.

According to the reports, two villagers had gone to the dense forest on Tuesday to collect forest produce. As rain started, they took shelter inside a cave. But the cave collapsed and they died.  The villagers found the bodies and informed the police.

A red warning has been issued in the four districts of Odisha —  Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar — as the low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into depression. Under its impact, the coastal belt and other parts of Odisha are likely to witness heavy rainfall.

Special relief commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena said: “We are closely monitoring the water flow in Brahmani, Baitarani, Subararekha, Budhabalanga and Salandi.

What is a cause of concern for Odisha is the heavy rainfall that has begun in the upper catchment of Upper Mahanadi and in Chhattisgarh. The inflow to the Hirakud level is likely to increase in the next 24 hours. However, the state government is confident of moderating the water flow using the Hirakud reservoir. 

“We had a plan to bring the water level below 622 feet against its full reservoir capacity of 630 feet,” said Jena, adding that the situation is still grim and many villages are still marooned.

The devastation caused by the backwater of Mahanadi and its tributaries to the vegetable cultivation in Cuttack, Puri and Khurda district, has broken the backbone of the farmers who survive on it. 

However, the damage caused by the flood would be accessed only after the water recedes. 

As per the announcement of the chief minister Naveen Patnaik who made an aerial survey of the flood hit areas, the relief operation began to provide cooked food and other essential items in the flood hit areas.

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