Now-a-days, one of the most discussed issues of the country is lightning and thunderstorm. The Government has recently announced it as a natural disaster.
It makes us very thoughtful what are the causes behind this incidents.
When the temperature rises, hot moist air rises upwards, known as updrafts. At the same time, the cool air sinks downwards, and this is called downdrafts. The collision of updrafts and downdrafts creates cumulonimbus (storm cells with electric charge) and it produces lightning and thunderstorm. Usually it happens during summer, in the months between March and May, but as the world temperature is rising day by day, such collisions occur every now and then.
Other than the rising temperature in the atmosphere, there is another specific reason. In prior times, we had many tall, old trees, most of which have been cut down over the years. As we know, trees are electricity resistant; they can absorb lightning strikes and save us. But due to massive deforestation, we are rapidly losing our forests. Besides, the increased use of metallic devices is one more reason for lightning to reach humans easily, as metals also conduct electricity.
There are some ways which are strictly need to be followed for the safety protection during the lightning. The structural way is using 'Lightning Arrestor' both in residential and high rise industrial buildings, so that the current is diverted through the arrestor, in most cases, to earth.
The non-structural way is to create awareness among the people. It is very tough to develop warnings to protect lightning, as we know that the volt of lightning is very high (in some cases 30-50 lakh volts) and it comes at 220 kilometers per second. Yet, some quick steps can be effective in this regard. After seeing the flash, if we can manage a safe shelter within 30 seconds, we'll be able to protect ourselves. We should keep in mind that, we must avoid tall trees, open fields, boating, fishing, metal wires, electronic equipment, wire fences, water pipes, inflammable materials, corded phones, concrete floor or walls, and utility poles. Apart from these, unplugging expensive electronic equipment and securing outdoor objects that could explode or cause damage is a wise decision.