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250 PEOPLE DIE FROM LIGHTING STRIKES IN SA EVERY YEAR, RESEARCH LAB REVEALS :

These Wits University researchers say as a climate change hotspot, the country is likely to see an increase in lightning activity.

The Johannesburg Lightning Research Lab has revealed more than 250 people in South Africa die after being struck by lightning, annually.

These Wits University researchers say as a climate change hotspot, the country is likely to see an increase in lightning activity.

They’ve been awarded a R500,000 donation by Dehn Africa to study lightning in and around the Johannesburg area.

The company provides innovative, unique and smart protection solutions, services and expertise in the fields of surge and lightning protection as well as safety equipment.

Senior lecturer and head of the research lab, Doctor Hugh Hunt: “It’s rare to find such a strong economic city where there’s so many people, so much of the population, so many economical assets in such a high lightning density area. So, in some sense, we are quite uniquely affected by lightning in the world, even though that it is not the most lightning in the world. We have such a lot of stuff going on in such a lightning-dense area.”

Hunt has urged people to be aware of the risks associated with lightning.

“If there is a storm, the best thing to do is be inside and if you can’t get inside, get inside a car or similar type of motor vehicle and really, you want to find a proper shelter, serious shelter, and if that it isn’t an option, don’t stand under a tree, don’t stand next to poles or things like that.”

 

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