With the arrival of the first storms, the danger increases that a ray impact on goods and people. These natural phenomena are the cause of forest fires and also of deaths and serious injuries. In fact, according to statistics, each year between 10 and 12 people die in Spain due to lightning strikes (2,000 worldwide). Without going further, a few weeks ago two tourists died on a beach in Mallorca when hit by one of these discharges. It is not, therefore, an element that should be overlooked, but an important risk that must be prevented.
Lightning does not die when it hits the ground, but can continue to spread across the surface, creating multiple branches. In fact, the death of these two tourists in Mallorca could have been caused by this fact, since lightning can kill two or more people even if they are not touching each other. Thus, Many lightning fatalities occur not because the lightning strikes directly on the person, but is transmitted through the ground.
In addition, lightning can strike a certain distance from where the storm occurs, so it is a false sense of tranquility to think that, by not being directly under it, we are safe from this danger. Lightning can travel a few kilometers from the center of the storm, looking for the most suitable place to strike, which will be where the electrical discharge of the cloud finds more positive charge on the ground to join and form the lightning.
What to do to avoid being hit by these downloads?
Metal objects attract lightning, so if you are in or near a thunderstorm, get rid of those objects. As a curiosity, golfers are scapegoats to suffer the discharge of lightning, since, when playing in the open field and having a metal stick in their hands, they become an ideal element for lightning to come into contact with them.
In an electrical storm it is necessary, if we are at home, close doors and windows because they can generate air currents and these attract lightning. It is necessary to avoid showering or being in contact with water, using the landline telephone or any other electrical device, as lightning quite likes to travel through cables. If one of them falls on a stick or pole, it can travel into the house through the wiring, destroying computers, televisions and other appliances. Of course, they need to be unplugged until the storm passes.
In the case of staying abroad and being surprised by these phenomena, the best thing to do is to remain inside the carwithout knocking on doors. The metal structure of the car conducts the electrical current on the outside and ends up directing it to the ground. It is the phenomenon of the Faraday cage and it is the same thing that happens with airplanes.
And it is that what protects the car in the event of a discharge are not the wheels, as many people mistakenly think, but the structure of the vehicle itself. The beam passes through the metal and then jumps to the ground at its bottom.
If you don’t have a place to take refuge in the open field, never stretch or lie on the floor; it is better to remain crouched, with the feet together, so as not to offer the discharge an entry and exit point.
You don’t have to run in these situations either, because it’s another way to attract lightning.
According to the book ‘Medicina legal y toxicología’, by Gisbert Calabuig, the frequency of accidents related to these phenomena is slightly higher in Mediterranean countries because more electrical storms are recorded there. And other studies already indicate that one of the consequences of global warming will be the increase in extreme atmospheric phenomena, which include more lightning.
If you’re out in the open, seek shelter inside a car or building when thunder or lightning strikes. Do not go out on the balcony to take photos with your mobile phone in the storm. No shelter under trees.
if you are at homeAvoid taking baths or showers and washing dishes. You should also avoid using landline telephones, televisions, and other appliances that conduct electricity. Unplug appliances.
stay inside for 30 minutes after seeing the last thunder or lightning. There are people who have been struck by lightning from storms with their center 16 kilometers away.
If he surprises you outside, away from a building or a car, stay away from bodies of water and tall objects like the trees. Find a low spot or depression in the ground but don’t lie on the ground. Lightning can move along the surface and many of the victims are not struck by lightning, but by this current.
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