Light­ning kills 80 from April to Au­gust this year

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - MYAT MOE AUNG my­at­moeaung@mm­times.com

FROM April 2016 to the end of last year, 59 peo­ple died from light­ning strikes, but that fig­ure rose to 80 deaths, with 25 oth­ers in­jured, be­tween April 1 and Au­gust 28 this year, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

FROM April 2016 to the end of last year, 59 peo­ple died from light­ning strikes, but this year the fig­ure rose to 80 be­tween April and Au­gust 28, with another 25 peo­ple in­jured, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment.

Pre­vi­ously, light­ning strikes were not taken as se­ri­ously as to­day. Light­ning strikes are of­ten as­so­ci­ated with cu­mu­lonim­bus clouds, which are dense tower-shaped clouds at the ori­gin of thun­der­storms and at­mo­spheric in­sta­bil­ity. Th­ese clouds are ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing light­ning and other dan­ger­ous weather, such as tor­na­does, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Hy­drol­ogy.

Cu­mu­lonim­bus clouds are the main source of light­ning strikes. In the past few years, light­ning strikes used to hap­pen at the end and be­gin­ning of the mon­soons. This year, cu­mu­lonim­bus clouds re­mained for the whole rainy sea­son due to ir­reg­u­lar rain­ing, said U Kyaw Moe Oo, as­so­ciate director gen­eral of the De­part­ment of Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Hy­drol­ogy.

This year, all states and re­gions suf­fered ca­su­al­ties, be­side from Chin State. Deaths from light­ning strikes were the high­est in Aye­yarwady Re­gion with 18; Bago Re­gion had 12 deaths; Tanintharyi Re­gion, Magwe Re­gion, Shan state and Man­dalay Re­gion all had seven; and Yan­gon Re­gion had six deaths.

“Last year, we in­dem­ni­fied for deaths by light­ning. This year we com­pen­sate for both deaths and in­juries: K300,000 for death and K50000 for in­jury,” said Daw Phyu Lai Lai Tun, deputy director of De­part­ment of Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment.

Aye­yarwady Re­gion and Bago Re­gion were most af­fected as they are plains re­gions, said Dr. Kyaw Moe Oo.

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