When thunder roars, go indoors: beware the bolts that kill us

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When thunder roars, go indoors: beware the bolts that kill us

SA has one of the world’s highest death rates from lightning strikes. A top SA expert tells us how to be safe

Journalist

Bolts of searing electric “fire” have been crashing from the heavens for millions of years, striking terror into the hearts and minds of our earliest ancestors and other creatures.

And for good reason. At any moment, about 2,000 thunderstorms happen worldwide, producing about 100 lightning strikes per second or eight million strikes each day.

Worldwide, lightning kills up to 24,000 people each year — and SA has one of the highest death rates in the world from lightning strikes, says Prof Ryan Blumenthal, a University of Pretoria pathologist who has examined scores of victims and published numerous articles and textbooks about lightning and electrothermal injuries...

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