January 19, 2022
Posted: July 13, 2021 3:19 pm
Over 30 fatalities at the hands of lightning strikes were reported last week in India, highlighting the importance of lightning safety when severe weather moves in.
As the monsoon season in India fires up, so does the prevalence of lightning strikes. More than three dozen deadly strikes were reported within a span of 24 hours in the country. 11 of these fatalities happened in one location in the state of Rajasthan. The incident occurred when a bolt of lightning struck a popular watchtower at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
Rajasthan was also the location of nine additional deaths, bringing the total to 20 in the region in one day alone.
Over in the state of Uttar Pradesh, officials estimate that at least 18 people were killed by lightning, also last Sunday. Many of the deaths happened when unprotected swaths of land were struck by lightning, killing the farm laborers out in the fields.
India’s monsoon season generally runs from June through September. During this time period, the majority of the nation sees the bulk of its annual precipitation. The moisture typically spreads from the southeast to the northwest. The heaviest hit locations, including the populated city of Mumbai, average as much as 87 inches of rainfall over the season.
Along with the heavy rain comes an elevated risk of lightning strikes. While the dozens of deaths in one day is certainly an anomaly, the monsoon season is known for its high frequency of lightning events.
Although India averages far more lightning deaths than the US on an annual basis, there are still approximately 25 Americans killed every year in this manner. Hundreds more are injured as a result of lightning strikes.
In order to protect yourself against lightning strikes, it is important to understand where the biggest risks lie when severe weather is in your area and what to do if lightning is around.
Here are three of the cardinal rules of lightning safety.
Following these safety tips might have saved some of the tragic losses suffered in India last week. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with basic lightning safety recommendations can go a long way in protecting yourself and your family when severe weather is in the area.
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