Kolkata: A total of 1,459 lightning deaths have been reported in West Bengal from 2018 till July 31 this year, according to a state government report submitted in the Assembly recently.
The maximum number of lightning deaths was reported in 2018 at 304, followed by 295 in 2020, 265 in 2019, 260 in 2021, and 229 in 2022.
In 2023, the number of lightning deaths had been 106 till July 31.
The number may increase further during the current calendar year as the monsoon season, coupled with thunderstorms and lightning, is yet to be over.
Environmentalists have noted that one peculiarity in the statistics is the sudden increase in the number of lightning-related deaths in Kolkata during the period of review, which was not that common before 2018.
The statistics also reveal in the individual calendar years under review, the maximum number of deaths has been reported either in June or September, which are generally the beginning and closing months of the monsoon season.
Now since September has just started, more lightning related deaths are apprehended during the current calendar year.
Experts believe that one important step that can be adopted to prevent both deaths as well as damage of electronic gadgets, especially televisions and personal computers, is installation of lightning arresters in the housing complexes.
A certified ESE lightning arrester for a domestic housing complex comes at a maximum cost of Rs 30,000 which is worth spending against the price of high-electronic gadgets and more importantly price of life, feel experts.