Thunderbolts cause heavy casualties, material damage

January 30, 2023

Among the natural disasters which cause tremendous damage to humankind is the stroke of lightning.

Last year, too, many people lost their lives and got injured by thunderbolts in many countries including Tanzania and Malawi.

Lightning struck amid a downpour killing 17 persons in Bihar in eastern India in a day in September. Most of them were reportedly farmworkers who had been working on fields.

In the country’s Uttar Pradesh, 39 persons were killed by thunderbolts in five days towards the end of September.

In a province in northern Yemen, six were killed and 17 others injured by a thunderbolt during a funeral.

Thunderbolts also cause serious material damage.

At 7 p.m. on August 5, a thunderbolt struck a tank containing 25 000 cubic metres of fuel among fuel tanks in a port city about 100 kilometres away from Havana, Cuba, resulting in a fire. The Cuban government had to mobilize a lot of manpower and equipment to put it out.

Generally, a thunderbolt is an electric spark caused by high potential difference between clouds charged with electricity and earth. When a thunderbolt erupts, the temperature of the flash is 10 000℃ which causes a flow of strong electric current. If a man, electrical equipment, structure or building is hit by a thunderbolt, it may cause a dangerous accident.

On the earth there are places where thunder days number 200 or over 20. 

Lightning is a main cause of deaths and accidents by natural disasters in many countries.

It is common knowledge that the human body conducts electricity well.

According to data, during a thunderbolt, its electric current may flow into deep parts of the human body like the heart and brain to cause death or may touch the surface of the body to cause burns. 

Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that people working outdoors are in buildings and don’t stand by a tall tree during a thunderbolt. As the top or ridge of a mountain is likely to be hit by a thunderbolt, it is necessary for people to go far away from there as soon as possible or shelter in dented places individually.

The loss of life by thunderbolt continuously occurs worldwide because people lack the relevant common knowledge or act without vigilance.

A lesson is that it is imperative to make people vigilant against damage in the period when thunderbolts hit frequently. 

It is also an important lesson that if lightning arresters and conductors and overhead earth wires are not installed properly at electrical equipment and buildings and they are not checked and repaired on a regular basis, accidents by thunderbolts cannot be prevented.

Thorough measures should be taken to protect from thunderbolts electrical equipment in the compounds of power distribution stations and electricity substations, storage facilities of inflammable or explosive materials and important buildings.

Accidents by thunderbolts are not attributable to the heavens. Man is the master who should harness nature with a correct understanding of the laws of nature.

Therefore, thorough preventive steps can minimize damage by thunderbolts to humans and materials. 


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