Lightning strikes kill more than 100 in India

Lightning strikes kill more than 100 in India

Lightning strikes have killed more than 100 people in India over a span of two days this week.

The United States averages 41 lightning related deaths in an entire year.

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The Indian economy relies heavily on agriculture and the summer monsoon season. As timing is the key in the growing season, farmers are forced to tend to their fields right as thunderstorms arrive.

Farmers will typically remain in the fields until the crops are prepared if the fieldwork is not completed before a storm arrives, leaving them vulnerable to lightning.

India has suffered more than 2,000 lightning related deaths each year since 2005, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau.

The monsoon season has arrived early this year, leading to the recent increase in lightning fatalities.

Indoors is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.

If you’re caught in the elements, here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Avoid open fields, hills or ridges
  • Stay away from tall, isolated objects such as poles or trees
  • If you’re camping, a lower position is best, but a tent offers no protection from lightning.
  • Stay away from water or metal in a thunderstorm. Both do not attract lightning but are excellent conductors of electricity.