Lightning kills four in South Africa (2/ ...

Lightning kills four in South Africa (2/1/2018)

Four people lost their lives when they were struck by lightning in South Africa on Sunday, authorities said. Two were killed when lightning struck two villages in Eastern Cape Province, the provincial health department said. Sixteen other people were injured during the strikes, said the department. A separate lightning strike in KwaZulu-Natal Province killed two people and injured three others, the provincial government said. Those injured have been taken to nearby hospitals and were in a stable condition. Most of them suffered severe burns, according to health officials. Heavy storms have ripped through the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal province in the past few days, leaving a trail of destruction. Disaster management teams have been put on high alert following the storms. Authorities have cautioned people against using trees as a cover in cloudy conditions, particularly in the middle of summer when lightning takes place frequently. South Africa has one of the highest lightning ground strike densities in the world. Particularly in recent years, deaths from lightning are growing in rural areas. Thunderstorms, generating big electrical discharges, are common in South Africa's eastern and northern provinces between October and March. At least 100 people are killed annually due to lightning strikes in South Africa, according to official statistics.
Source - News archive

Northern Ireland escapes the worst of St ...

Northern Ireland escapes the worst of Storm Dylan despite amber warning (1/1/2018)

Storm Dylan passed over Northern Ireland causing little or no damage despite an amber weather warning being issued by the Met Office. An amber warning, which was in place across Northern Ireland from 2am to 3pm yesterday, is issued when, according to the Met Office, "there is a potential for damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and debris". The forecast was for "some very strong winds" with "a chance of damage to buildings with the potential for injuries and danger to life from flying debris". Disruption to road, air and ferry services were also forecast, along with the possibility of power cuts. However, most areas escaped the worst of the storm and just 500 homes in Craigavon were left without power as a result of the strong winds. A spokesman for Northern Ireland Electricity said a full team of engineers had been put on standby following the Met Office's warning. "He said: "At 6am on Sunday there were around 500 homes in Craigavon without power as a result of the storm, and two thirds of those had power restored by 8am. "From 9am onwards, there were around 100 homes without power. "This was a bad storm but by no means the worst we have had but regardless, we have to use the same emergency plan which we escalate once we were made aware of the amber warning issued by the Met Office." Gusts of 59mph were recorded at Magilligan in Co Londonderry, but the strongest winds not surprisingly were at Malin Head in County Donegal where speeds of up to 77mph were noted. Belfast City Council and Derry City and Strabane Council closed its public parks in the morning as a precautionary measure. The Foyle Bridge in Londonderry was also closed to high sided vehicles for a time but by 9am it was declared safe for all traffic to pass. The storm passed over Northern Ireland and headed towards Scotland where again the havoc did not manifest itself to the degree predicted by the weather forecasters.
Source - News archive

A United States park ranger was hit by l ...

A United States park ranger was hit by lightning on seven different occasions and survived all of them. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love!

Roy Cleveland Sullivan was a United States park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Between 1942 and 1977, Sullivan was hit by lightning on seven different occasions and survived all of them. For this reason, he gained a nickname "Human Lightning Conductor" or "Human Lightning Rod". Sullivan is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love.
Source - Did you know archive

Animals can have storm phobia!

According to WbMD, storm phobia is very real and should be taken seriously. Loyal masters are often awaken in the middle of the night – not from the thunder – but from the uninvited pet jumping in the bed looking for comfort from the storm. Cases of storm phobia in pets can be much more severe and should not be ignored. They say some pets have been known to “claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.”
Source - Did you know archive

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