Three others got injured and were admitted to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital.

Three women killed by lightning strike in Tamil Nadus Ariyalur district
news News Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 08:16

A lightning strike near Thirumanur in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu on Monday claimed the lives of three women agriculture labourers who died on the spot as per a report by Deepak Karthik in the Times of India

The group of nine women agriculture labourers were engaged in paddy cultivation in Karuppur village when the incident occurred. 

Lightning struck six of them while it was raining, the report says. 

Three women, identified as Unnamalai, 48, Senthamizhselvi, 40, and Anjalai, 50, died on the spot while three others, identified as Ponnarambu, Annakodi and Selvi, sustained injuries. 

The injured were admitted to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital. 

Thirumanur police sent the bodies to the Ariyalur Government Hospital for postmortem and have registered a case. 

Lightning strikes and who is more vulnerable

When lightning strikes the ground or an object on the ground, the discharge occurs in and along the ground surface (not deep into the ground). This creates a dangerous and potentially deadly ground current near the lightning strike.

A lightning strike depends on many factors. Some places are more vulnerable to strikes than others due to the speed of the storm. Lightning need not always strike the highest given point in any area.

According to experts, anyone standing on a high ground, in an open space, near water or near large metallic structures or trees is more vulnerable to lightning strikes.

In 2006 (BBC News and British Medical Journal), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a statement, saying lightning is not attracted to people carrying mobile phones.

“Cell phones, small metal items, jewellery, etc., do not attract lightning. Nothing attracts lightning. Lightning tends to strike taller objects,” said John Jensenius, a NOAA National Weather Service lightning expert. “People are struck because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The wrong place is anywhere outside. The wrong time is anytime a thunderstorm is nearby.”

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