Lightning is a large spark produced by an abrupt discontinuous discharge of electricity through the air, resulting most often from the creation and separation of electric charge in cumulonimbus clouds and also the difference between ground charge and base of the cloud.
During lightning, the path is illuminated and and ionizes the path and heats it to over 60000 degrees C.
There is always a conductive path of ionized air that forms near a cloud base prior to a lightning stroke. The initial conductive path is referred to as a step leader because it extends itself earthward in short, nearly invisible burst. A dart leader, which is continuous and less branched than a step leader, precedes each subsequent stroke along the same path.
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Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain area, and may occur as far as 15 kms. away from any rainfall.
When lightning strikes nearby, the electrical charge can travel through the water, therefore one must stay away from water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, canals etc.
Any device designed to carry to the ground the short-duration surge currents that appear on the power lines and telephone or telegraph lines during thunderstorm
Precaution & Mitigation
Lightning can damage electric appliances, such as television, fridge, air conditioner, telephone etc. They must therefore be switched off in the event of a thunderstorm.
Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and put around the house.
Installation of lightning conducting rods, will carry the electrical charge of lightning bolts, safely to the ground.
What To Do During A Severe Thunderstorm & Lightning?
Natural lightning rods such as tractors, bicycles metals etc. should be avoided. Lightning is attracted to metal, poles and rods.
Shutting down the windows & doors will help in protecting the house from damaging winds or flying debris.
Electrical equipment and telephones should be avoided. Lightning could follow the wire. Television set is particularly dangerous during this time.
Bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks, should be avoided because metal pipes can transmit electricity.
What to do during Lightning?
Lightning current often enters a victim through the ground rather than by a direct overhead strikes. A crouching position and minimum surface contact will be essential for one to avoid being prey to lightening.
What to do at Home During A Thunderstorm & Lightning Warning?
Windows should be covered.
Electrical Appliances should be unplugged.
Usage of telephone or any electrical appliance should be avoided.
Leaving electric lights on, does not increase the chances of a home being struck by lightning.
Taking a bath or shower, should be avoided.
What To Do If Someone Is Struck By Lightning?
An emergency call should be made to 100/101 and 102 for Police/fire and medical service.
Wounds if any, should be covered with a sterilised cloth to stop bleeding. Rescue breathing should be initiated if the victim is not breathing. Further a trained person should give artificial respiration, if the victim has lost heart beat.
If a person is hit by electrical shock, the place on his body where the electricity left should be checked for burn wounds and treated accordingly, if found. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people, and they can be handled safely.
The victim should be rushed to the hospital for medical assistance without loss of time.
The entire relief and compensation amount due to the affected persons and victims should be extended to them.
District Administration should create awareness and educate people through schools / colleges / NCC and other organisation etc. about Do’s and Don’ts.
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