Thursday, 28 October, 2021
E-paper

Plant more palm trees for survival

In recent times, there has been a sharp rise in the incidence of lightning in our country. Over the past 10 years from 2011, as many as 2,800 people died in lightning strikes across the country as is revealed by the State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief on Tuesday. As per experts, the number of deaths is much higher than any other natural disaster. It is alarming indeed. Virtually, lightning strike has now turned into the country's deadliest killer.

People in rural areas, mostly farmers who work in croplands are the worst victims to thunderbolts due to lack of enough protection. Lightning is a stark example of nature’s retaliatory response to the suicidal behaviour of human beings. In the name of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, forest cover and taller trees such as palm, betel nut and coconut are being erased from the countryside. The suicidal practice is the main reason behind increasing number of lightning strikes which may be termed as nature's revenge. Climate change is also another form of nature's wrath. The growing temperature due to climate change is causing more water evaporation from the land and ocean. It is increasing black clouds with potential lightning storms.

To lessen the lightning casualties, we should change our lifestyle and attitude towards nature. To reverse the trend, we should expand our forest coverage and at the same time have to plant palm trees in large scale to divert lightning strikes away from people. Lightning usually hits the tallest object first. Palm trees being the tallest among other trees in its surroundings works as a lightning conductor by minimising its impacts to a great extent. This is a long-term protection measure. People’s awareness is very crucial in this regard. Alongside, they should be made aware that they should not be there in the open field when back clouds gather in the sky.

The government can also make people aware through mobile messaging a few minutes before lightning starts striking in any particular neighbourhood as part of an effective step to minimise the number of casualties.