What to do when lightning strikes: Check do’s and don’ts

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Published: July 6, 2020 4:27 PM

As many as 2,500 people die every year in India due to lightning

lightning strikesAccording to reports, as many as 315 people in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have lost their lives because of lightning since May 15. (Photo: The Financial Express)

This year India has been experiencing good rains. The southwest monsoon has covered the whole country 12 days in advance, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). During the monsoon season, heavy showers, lightning, and thunderstorm are frequent in some parts of the country. Many people and animals die because of these incidences. Private weather forecaster Skymet said as many as 2,500 people die every year in India due to lightning only. Because of rising global temperature, Skymet attributing to experts said, the intensity and frequency of thunderstorm/dust storms are likely to increase in the coming days.

According to reports, as many as 315 people in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have lost their lives because of lightning since May 15. Bihar has seen 60 deaths due to lightning in the past 4 days. During this monsoon, Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh have received extremely heavy rains—in the range of 66% excess rains to 79% excess rains.

Lightning is a big spark of electricity between the cloud, the air, or the ground. Long trees, tall buildings, and towers, even mountains—basically tall objects—are generally received lightning strikes.

There are many sensitive weather pockets in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha and some parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh which are prone to lightning strikes, according to data from Skymet.

As many as 2,350 people in 2018 and 2,800 people were died because of lightning, according to date from the National Crime Records Bureau.

So, what one should do to avoid becoming a victim of such strikes. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued some advisories in this regard:

When you are indoors, unplug all electrical equipment before the storm.

NDMA advises not to use corded telephone also. People are also advised to stay away from windows and doors.

The NDMA also advised people not to touch plumbing, metal pipes even running water, and stay away off verandas.

If you are outside home, the NDMA advises against taking shelter under or near trees. Request people to spread out and avoid the crowd. It advises people to get inside a house or building but avoid structure with tin or metal roofs.

The NDMA advisories also say not to use metal objects, stay away from electricity and telephone lines; get out of water bodies like pond, pool or lakes.

If you are caught under the open sky, it advises to crouch, not to lie down or place hands on the ground. If you are inside a bus or car (covered vehicles), the NDMA advises staying inside.

And, once the lightning gets over, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation and if required seek medical help immediately.

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