India

‘Damini’ app can protect against lightning: UP govt

Lucknow, July 9 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government has issued an advisory to farmers, asking them to install the ‘Damini' app on their mobile phones.

The app is designed to alert the user about the possibility of lightning after assessing the atmospheric conditions.

Scores of people have lost their lives in the past one week in UP and Bihar after being struck by lightning.

According to the app developer S.D. Pawar, “Users will get an alert five minutes before lightning strikes. It will also point out how far lightning could strike and in how much time. If there is no possibility of lightning when it rains, the app will indicate that as well.”

Sanjay Bhoosreddy, principal secretary of the sugarcane and sugar industry, said that the idea is to give people enough time to evacuate.

“Farmers end up being most at risk because of this. There are 46 lakh sugarcane farmers in the state and the app will warn them when it is unsafe and also how to protect themselves,” he said.

The app was released in November 2018 by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology at Pune in Maharashtra. Its interface now shows it is supported by the Union ministry of earth sciences. It has been downloaded 1 lakh times and as of Wednesday, it is the sixth top weather app in India.

The app also has a tab, outlining ways in which people can keep themselves safe.

Bhoosreddy said, “Sugarcane growers have been advised not to take shelter in open fields and under trees, and avoid lying flat on the ground. If someone does get stuck in an open space when lightning strikes, they should put their hands over their ears, bend downwards and make sure that the heels of their feet are touching each other.”

–IANS

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