MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, March 25, 2023

Lightning safety tips during thunderstorms

 Take precautions during precautions during a thunderstorm to avoid being hit by lightning. - NSTP file pic

LETTERS: The thunderstorm in Ulu Klang, Selangor, recently was deafening and it happened just as children were leaving school.

Some were seen walking in the rain to their homes nearby while others were picked up by their parents and guardians, who seemed oblivious to the danger posed by lightning.

Since the new school year coincides with the start of the first thunderstorm season of the year, I hope the Education Ministry, state education departments and schools can disseminate the lightning safety rule to students.

It takes only a few minutes to read them but it can mean the difference between life and death.

STOP outdoor activities and seek shelter as soon as you see dark thunder clouds on the horizon or over the hill. Lightning can strike up to 15km away from the thundercloud, that is, even before the rain starts;

RUN for shelter if you hear thunder or see a lightning bolt. You are already in danger of being struck by lightning;

DO not wait for the rain to fall before you act. Sometimes, lightning occurs before the rain starts to fall. Never use an umbrella in a lightning storm;

DO not take shelter under a tree or in a tent, a small shed, a construction site kongsi, a rotunda, a gazebo or a roadside food stall.

For small shelters, ensure that they have been installed with a lightning protection system before you take refuge in them;

TAKE shelter inside a sturdy or large building (a shop or a house), inside a metal-roofed vehicle (bus, van or car) or under a large structure (a bridge).

Do not loiter outside a large building to avoid being struck by falling debris when lightning strikes the building above;

IF there is no shelter nearby, get down from an elevated position (mound, hill top or platform). Get into any depression in the ground or in a dry drain;

GET into a lightning defensive position, that is, squat down with your feet together and close your ears with your hands. Do not lie down. Do not touch anyone or any metal objects (fence or gate) near you;

IF it rains, get your clothes wet because wet clothing helps to reduce serious injuries to the lightning-struck person. Let the current flow over you instead of inside you;

INSIDE a shelter, do not touch any metallic object, electric equipment or electric cable.

Do not use a telephone unless it is urgent. Use a handphone instead, if available. Keep away from the balcony, verandah, doorway, window, wall or pillar; and,

STAY in your shelter for 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. Lightning can strike up to 15km away, even after the rain has stopped.


Kuala Lumpur


The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the MMKtT.

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