Lightnings spark fires in California… And kill in India…
A massive thunderbolt hit remote Jumla district, Nepal on Sunday, killing at least 500 sheep grazing at Masimarema grazing land of Patrasi Rural Municipality, a traditional location for the region’s livestock and dairy farmers during the monsoon months.
The sheep killed during this heavy monsoon storm on August 23, 2020, belonged to Bishnu Buda and Jaya Bahadur Buda were being readied for the Dasain festival in October.
Jumla’s chief district administrator Tek Bahadur Budathapa said the lightning strike was a major blow to the villagers of Patrasi whose main source of income is their livestock.
“The farmers were already hit by the economic crisis caused by the lockdown, and now this has happened, it is going to be difficult for them to survive and the government will do what it can to provide rehabilitation,” Budathapa said.
This is the second worst disaster to hit the district’s animal husbandry in recent years. In 2013, more than 700 sheep were killed in winter blizzards.
Nepal lightning deaths
With nearly 900 human fatalities in the past ten years, lightning accounts for the highest number of deaths in natural disasters – second only to the 2015 earthquake. Nepal, in fact, tops the list of countries with the most lightning fatalities per unit area. More people die every year in electric storms in Nepal than in the whole of North America, according to statistics.
Every year, an average of 100 people are killed by thunderbolts, and meteorologists say freak electrical storms are also occurring during unusual times, such as early mornings.
Nepal is also the most densely populated mountainous country in the world, and lighting in the mountains are also deadlier because the flashes have to travel less distance.
Within Nepal, Makwanpur district south of Kathmandu has the highest death rate from lightning strike with 70 deaths in the past seven years. In the same period, Jumla only had three fatalities from lightning.
Meanwhile, California is burning down… also due to lightnings they say!