Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SAFETY - Precautions during Lightning

 (Data Courtesy National Disaster Management Center)

Dear All,

You all must have experienced heavy thunderstorms and lightening during last night. Meteorological Department has warned the public to be vigilant during thunderstorms. They say on an average 20% of strike victims die and 70% of survivors suffer long term disabilities. Ten deaths (5 - Polonnaruwa, 3 - Gampaha, 2 - Bibile) and hundreds of injuries due to lightening were reported in year 2009.

Please note this is the peak period for lightening. So carefully read the following instructions issued by NDMC. This has been sent to you earlier, but to remind/refresh your memory and for the benefit of newly joined staff.


  • Keep away from any connectivity with water. Avoid bathing, cloths washing, dish washing etc.
  • Wipe and dry up your body as quickly as possible.
  • Avoid wearing wet cloths.
  • Try to be inside a properly enclosed building.
  • If at home, the most secured position is lying on the bed not touching any walls. Restrict your body expand only to the rubber mattress.
  • Avoid being closer to windows, doors,car porches,cloth lines,metal fences,metal shelters, transformers, switch boards and telephones.
  • Move away from groups of people.
  • Avoid leveled outdoor open spaces. Cease all outdoor activities.
  • Avoid being on top or near hill tops, roof tops and tower tops.
  • Avoid being in or near water swimming pools, rivers, streams or beach.
  • Never use any phones mobile or land. Disconnect the phone wires.
  • Do not use or be near the refrigerator.
  • Disconnect TV antenna wire and place it outside through a window.
  • Avoid using computer or other electric / electronic appliances.
  • Disconnect all coded electrical connections. Stop battery charging.
  • Ensure that the earth wire resistance does not exceed 10ohm/meters.
  • Take pets inside the building. Leave their metal chains outside.
  • Avoid using umbrellas and other objects with metallic components.
  • Avoid riding bikes, motor bikes, horses and open roof vehicles
  • Switch off car stereos. Close the shutters and doors when driving during lightening. As much as possible, do not touch metal parts. Avoid driving in leveled open spaces. Park in basements at all possible circumstances.
  • Avoid taking shelter under tall trees. Squat down to lower your height.  
  • In the night lightening times, consider disconnecting main power from the MCB and try to depend on candle light during the danger period.
  • If the time gap between the lightening flash AND the thunderbolt is less than 15 seconds, you are in the danger zone. If you can hear the thunder you are in the striking distance. The lightening can strike as far as 16 kms (10miles) away from the raining zone.

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