Lightning strikes five minors in Lupane

by | Dec 30, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments


Yvonne Mutambwa

A family in Mhlahlandlela Village Lupane, Matabeleland Province, was yesterday plunged into mourning when lightning struck their homestead, killing one minor and injuring four.

The minors were chopping firewood under a tree on their homestead, when the bolt of lightning struck.

One child is reported to have died on the spot, while three survived with mild burns.

The one who suffered serious burns is being treated at Lupane Clinic.

This comes a month after thirteen inmates at Hwange Prison were hospitalized after they were struck by lightning while having lunch.

In the same month, two high school pupils in Chitungwiza was also struck by lightning and died.

On average, Zimbabwe loses about 100 lives to lightning per year.

Globally, about 2000 people die from lightning strikes and Zimbabwe accounts for 5 percent of all deaths.

Scientists say this is caused by the prevalence of exposed granite in many places across the country.

Granite, according to a University of Zimbabwe study is radioactive and discharges gamma rays up to the cloud, thus ionizing the air molecules.

Soot from kitchen huts also cause opposite charge, which causes lightning.

Deforestation, which has left many houses plainly exposed, has also been cited as a key cause.

The Meteorological Services Department has warned of a high lightning prevalence and has urged families to erect lightning guards and avoid being the tallest upstanding figures during thunderstorms.