That is the kind of nightmare you don’t even wish to your worst enemy!
Being killed by a lightning!
Some really weird weather phenomena are currently ‘attacking’ Zambia right now! Is it the new test country for weather weapons?
After a plane was heavily damaged by a hailstorm and 49 cattle were deadly hit by a lightning strike, another electric bolt killed 5 football players and injured another 3 in Chienge District of Luapula Province, Zambia on Dec. 1.
According to a local news network, five people belonging to a local football team died while three of their colleagues survived a lightning strike.
The victims were identified as Jackson Kabwe (20), Seleman Kapembwa (19), Joe Chansa (19), Mpundu Nasri (16) and Joe Katai (17).
The police department noted:
“Investigations reveals that the victims belonged to a local football team known as Chilondo Football Club (aka Barcelona) and were hired to cultivate a piece of land in order to raise funds at Chikalipa Village. Their effort was disturbed by heavy rain. While seeking cover under a mango tree, the lightning hit and killed 5 instantly.“
This Is Why You Don’t Hide Under A Tree During A Lightning Storm
Yes, after looking at this video, you see that’s hiding under a tree in a lightning storm isn’t a great idea. But what is the science behind?
As enotes explains:
“Thunder is the result of lighting. Lighting is a result of electrical charges. Lighting is attracted to the tallest tip of a conductor. Trees are often the tallest objects within an environment. Therefore, trees make great targets for lighting. However, trees do not contain as many ions as humans do. Thus, humans are better conductors than trees. If the tip of a tree is struck by lighting and a person is standing under the tree, then the current from the lighting may travel down the tree and jump towards the human conductor. Therefore, it is not wise to stand under a tree during a thunderstorm.“
Pretty clear, no?
So What Are Tips You Should Follow During a Lightning Storm?
So as you have seen above, one of the most dangerous place to be in a lightning storm is under a tree. But there’s an even deadlier place: outside, in the open.
Between 2006-2016, more people were struck and died by lightning out in the open than anywhere else in the US.
But if you can’t find shelter, here are some tips.
Stuck in a forest?
Avoid tall or isolated trees. And stand as far away as you can from any tree.
Camping in an open area?
Pick a valley or other low area to set up camp. Avoid ravines, and beware of possible flash flooding in the area. Also, remember that tents offer no protection from lightning.
Avoid wet and metal objects
If you’re in a boat or near long metal fences be extremely careful. Water and metal easily conduct electrical current from one source to another, which could be you.
Always wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder
50% of lightning deaths happen after the storm has passed. So, be patient and wait a half hour before resuming activity.
These tips can help, but your best defense is to plan ahead and be prepared. Check the weather forecast, it could just save your life. [Zambia Reports]