Don’t disregard potential dangers from lightning; stay safe in rainy season

Perspectives

Every rainy season, especially in early and late season, lightning strikes kill and injure people, at times damaging their property and livestock.
Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement releases annual warnings not to disregard the potential dangers.
With the monsoon battering our country, deaths due to lightning are being reported across the country. In 2019, over 130 people died and over 50 injured due to lightning across the country.
In this pre-monsoon season of 2020, over 62 people died and 26 injured as of 6th June.
Nine in 10 victims do not die, but many of those who are struck do suffer long-term difficulties, particularly neurological injuries.
In most cases, people are caught up at the wrong places and in most cases they could have avoided it, with proper knowledge.
The lightning killed seven buffalos in Htigyaing in an accident and 20 cows in two separate incidents in Sagaing, leaving poor farmers reeling.
It is important to understand how lightning works and regional authorities should start a campaign to educate the people before we lose many lives, livestock and property.
Some tips for safety:
If thunder/lightning is in the vicinity, stay inside. If you’re stuck outside, make a bee line to the most solid shelter you can find. Or get in a car.
Remember, the most common factors influencing a lightning bolt are height, a pointed shape and the isolation of the object. If you’re stuck in a field, stay on your feet and crouch low. Most important, if you hear thunder or see lightning in the vicinity, get inside as soon as possible.
If you stay inside a home, you should always stay off phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity and stay away from windows. Always avoid plumbing, including sinks and baths and remember that when thunder roars, go indoors and relax.
Lightning strikes may be rare, but they still happen and the risk of serious injury or death is severe. So take thunderstorms seriously in every rainy season.
Use common sense. Show respect. Stay safe.

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