Disasters & Accidents

At least 34 have died in Nepal lightning strikes

Kathmandu, July 2 (EFE).- Two people have died in overnight lighting strikes in Nepal, taking the toll to 34 due to the frequent bolts out of the blue in the last nearly two and a half months, an official said Friday.

Data from the federal home ministry showed that thunderbolts injured 113 people in various parts of Nepal since pre-monsoon showers began pounding in mid-April.

Anil Pokhrel, chief executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, told EFE that lightning claimed two people on Thursday.

The Himalayan nation has witnessed frequent deaths due to lightning that remains one of the leading natural disasters in the country, said Pokhrel.

“On an average, 100 people die in Nepal annually from lightning incidents,” he said.

The government data of seven years between 2011-12 and 2018-19 shows 773 people have died and 1,695 people sustained injuries due to lightning strikes.

In the same period, water-induced calamities like landslides and floods had claimed 730 and 665 lives, respectively.

“The annual casualty from the natural disaster shows that lightning is the largest killer for the country,” said Pokhrel.

He said windstorms coupled with thundershower and lightning saw a sudden rise during the pre-monsoon season.

In a bid to minimize the loss of lives and properties caused by lightning every year, the government, in 2017, had set up nine lightning detection centers at various places to identify thunderstorm-prone zones.

However, some of these centers have been out of operation, according to Pokhrel.

“We also make the public aware to keep lightning arresters in their houses and tall buildings.”

The landlocked mountainous country is highly prone to multiple hazards because of its diverse topography and climatic conditions, geological position, rugged mountains, and steep landscape. EFE


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