At least 10 persons died and 50 were injured due to lightning and wall collapse as incessant rain and heavy wind across northern and coastal Orissa on Thursday evening threw normal life out of gear.
A total of six persons died due to lightning, while four others died due to wall collapse and uprooting of trees. Half of the injured were struck by lightning at one place, Biramitrapur in Sundergarh district, about 400 km northwest of Bhubaneswar, as they had gathered for a social function.
Heavy losses of properties were reported due to uprooting of trees, electric and telephone poles and collapse of walls, submergence of agricultural fields in rain water, state revenue and disaster management officials said. Orissa revenue minister SN Patro told the Hindustan Times that those dying of wall collapse and lighting would be given an exgratia of Rs1 lakh and Rs50,000 each respectively.
"I have asked the district collectors to access the loss of lives and properties," Patro said. The Bhubaneswar meteorological department officials said a cyclonic circulation triggered thunder squall over large parts of the state contributed to the devastation.
The rain, which started from the northern Orissa district of Mayurbhanj adjoining Jharkhand in the afternoon, lashed districts like Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri, for the next nine hours. Kendrapada recorded the highest 125 millimetres of rain.