Bhubaneswar: A day after 18 people lost their lives in lightning strikes in several districts of Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today expressed his deep grief over the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for kin of the deceased.
Lightning strikes claimed 18 lives across seven districts of the State which were lashed by monsoon rains on Sunday.
As many as five deaths were reported from Bhadrak districts alone. Three persons also sustained burn injuries after lightning struck them in three blocks of the district.
Balasore reported at least four casualties while reports of three deaths came in from Kendrapara. Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Angul and Ganjam also reported one death each.
Similarly, three persons including a woman were killed in lightning in separate places in Kendrapara district on Sunday.
In Balasore district, two died at at Srijang and Kuligaon villages when they too were working in a paddy field.
Lightning has been a major cause of deaths in the State and was included as a State-specific disaster on April 1, 2015. After the State Government enhanced ex gratia for other disaster-related deaths, compensation for lightning deaths was also raised from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per head this year.