Lightning hotspots warning

2010-11-09 00:00

THE South African Weather Service has warned people to take extra care when thunderstorms develop in the Greytown, Ixopo, Pietermaritzburg, Giant Castle, Underberg and Drakensberg areas.

These are areas that are known to be lightning hotspots.

Weather forecaster Wisani Maluleke said: “People living in these areas must be on a lookout for strong winds, hail- storms and lightning strikes.

“With thunderstorms anything is possible because they come with all kinds of destruction that can sometimes damage property or have someone killed.”

Jeffrey Wicks of Netcare911 said: “Although we have not received many cases of people being struck by lightning, there has been a case that we attended to of a man who was struck to death by lightning in Howick.

“Lightning strikes are extremely serious,” Wicks said, and if a person is thought to have been struck by lightning, the attending person should call 082 911 for help immediately.

He said the injury is often characterised by a small burn at the point of entry and a larger burn at the point where the charge exits the body.

“In the case of a lightning strike, one should assess whether or not the person is breathing and has a pulse.

“If neither is present and the attending person is familiar with CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), they should start it then,” Wicks said.

He emphasised that it is vital to call for help.

Sanjeev Sewnarain of the weather service said South Africa is a lightning-prone country and lightning-related deaths are about four times higher than the global average.

He said the average lightning flash contains enough energy to keep a 100-watt lightbulb lit for three months.

The flash heats the air around it to nearly 28 000°C, which is hotter than the surface of the Sun, added Sewnarain.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.