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How to stay safe from lightning strikes

  • Published at 04:34 pm June 6th, 2021
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Over the past few weeks, dozens of people were killed in lightning strikes during storms or thundershowers

Lightning strikes are commonplace during monsoon in Bangladesh. They generally kill several hundred people – mostly farmers working under the open sky – every year.

Over the past few weeks, dozens of people across the country were killed in lightning strikes during storms or thundershowers.

There is a correlation between thunderbolts and temperature, according to a study published in 2017.

It said that around 5,000-6,000 meters above the level of Bangladesh’s atmosphere, the temperature remains humid and warm from late April till the third week of May every year, leading to an increase in such incidents.

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According to Bangladesh Meteorological Department, people can stay safe from thunderbolts by following nine tips.

They are:

1. Take shelter under a nearby concrete house. If there is frequent lightning, do not stay in any open or on a high place.

2. Stay away from trees and electric poles as there is a high possibility of lightning strikes on high trees or electric poles. The passenger sheds are also unsafe.

 3. Do not stay close to windows at home when there is lightning. Keep the windows closed and stay within the house.

 4. Avoid metallic objects. Do not touch metal, stair railing, metal pipes etc during lightning. Do not even touch landline telephones; many people get injured that way.

 5. Avoid touching all connected electric appliances, including TV and fridge. Do not touch TVs, refrigerators, etc. If lightning starts, disconnect all plugs from electric lines.

 6. If you are in a car during lightning, try to return home as fast as possible. If there is heavy thunderstorms and rain, take the car under any shed. Touching the windowpanes can be dangerous at that time.

 7. Waterlogging is very common in the rainy season and the logged water can be electrified by the snapped electric line. So, it is better to stay home during lightning.

 8. Walking barefoot or using wet leather shoes during lightning is very dangerous. Rubber gumboot will be the safest thing.

 9. Remain alert on the road during lightning. Avoid the spots where the tendency of lightning is high. If someone gets injured, try to take them to hospital quickly.