90 minutes of lightning strikes rekindle fears of Sunday rerun

By Times Of India on 13 Jun 2018 | read
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KOLKATA: On the second day after the arrival of monsoon, heavy rain lashed the city accompanied by intense lightning. Meteorologists cited several factors, including the slow movement of the strong cloud mass, for the thunder and lightning on Tuesday afternoon.


According to the Met office, a strong cloud mass that had moved over Kolkata from Bankura, Birbhum and Burdwan, which usually have cloud movement during nor’westers. Making it worse was the slow movement of the cloud, which allowed ice particles to bump into each other frequently, producing intense thunder and lightning.

It started pouring around 3pm. With reports of a young cricketer being killed by lightning and of a house catching fire two days ago, the thunder and lightning that went on for an hour and a half terrified citizens. Although the city escaped fresh casualty or fire, reports of lightning-related deaths came in from the districts.

“I was watching television when thunder claps and lightning started. I immediately switched it off and unplugged it. I also disconnected the air-conditioners fearing an impact of lightning,” said Sushmita Das, a homemaker in Lake Town.

The Met office recorded 15mm of rain on Tuesday. Though there was widespread rain, south Kolkata received a heavier downpour compared to the north. Places like Ballygunge and Dhapa Lock Gate recorded a rainfall of 94mm and 83mm respectively within an hour. The Met office has predicted more rain on Wednesday.

“There is a chance of similar rainfall activity in Kolkata for another 24 hours. But we expect a slight decrease in rain from Thursday onwards,” said G K Das, RMC director (weather).

The southwest monsoon, meanwhile, has advanced to other parts of Bengal. “After covering the whole of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, monsoon has entered East and West Midnapore, parts of Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong,” said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general of meteorology at RMC, Kolkata.