How to Stay Safe During Nepal’s Lightning Season?

March 26, 2024
Nepal's Lightning Season
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Lightning strikes are a dangerous natural phenomenon, responsible for deaths in Nepal every year – especially during the summer months. Let’s dispel some myths and learn the essential facts about lightning safety.

How Lightning and Thunder Occur

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  • Lightning is a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere, flowing from clouds to the ground.
  • Unstable weather conditions cause hot air to collide with cold air, creating the distinctive dark storm clouds where lightning forms.
  • Lightning releases immense energy and heat, causing the loud boom of thunder.

The Dangers of Lightning

  • Lightning strikes carry a massive electrical current, hotter than the sun’s surface, and travel incredibly fast.
  • People caught outdoors (farmers, workers, athletes) are most at risk.
  • Even if lightning doesn’t strike you directly, being nearby can still be dangerous due to the ground current it spreads.

Knowing How Far Away Lightning Is

Don’t be fooled by distance! You can estimate how far away a strike is by counting the seconds between seeing the lightning flash and hearing thunder:

  • Every 3 seconds = 1 kilometer distance

Seek shelter immediately if you count less than 30 seconds!

Precautions BEFORE a Lightning Storm

  • Unplug and turn off all electrical devices inside your home.
  • Seek information on where a storm is headed. Remember, lightning can strike from up to 10 miles away from its center.

What to Do DURING a Lightning Storm

Indoors:

  • Avoid landline phones and metal plumbing.

Outdoors:

  • Keep 20 meters away from metal objects or electrical wires.
  • Avoid water.
  • Find a low, open area away from trees, poles, etc.
  • If possible, get inside a car (lightning will ground through the tires).
  • Crouch low, minimizing contact with the ground. Stay away from anything conductive!

After the Storm:

  • Avoid downed power lines.

If Someone Is Struck by Lightning

  • Their body may be burned and their heart affected.
  • Call emergency services immediately, ensuring your safety first.
  • If their heart stops, perform CPR. You won’t get shocked – their body doesn’t hold the charge.

Understanding how lightning works and following safety precautions can save lives. Spread the word and help keep your communities safe!

Ditible Staff

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