Monday, 27 October 2014

Zimbabwe: 60 Police Recruits Struck By Lightning

21 October 2014

At least 50 police recruits escaped death by a whisker after a tent they were using during training at Lowdale Training Centre in Shamva was struck by a bolt of lightning, injuring three of them last Thursday.
While official figures indicated that there were 50 recruits and three were injured, impeccable police sources at Morris Depot said there were 60 recruits and 15 of them were injured, eight seriously.  The sources said of the eight seriously injured, six were still admitted at Morris Depot Camp Clinic by yesterday, while two were at Parirenyatwa Hospital. The sources said the bolt of lightning struck while the recruits were on a shooting training session.
But police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said all the affected recruits had since resumed training. "Three recruits sustained minor injuries and were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital for further management," he said. "They were admitted for two days and later discharged."
The incident involving recruits from Morris Depot occurred between 6pm and 7pm, while the 15 injured were all females. The number of instructors who were accompanying the recruits could not be established, but seven of the recruits were examined and discharged after their degree of injuries was said to be minor. Although details were still sketchy by yesterday, police sources said the recruits were conducting a shooting exercise at the farm as part of their training. They were struck by lightning following rains that were experienced in some of parts of the country last Thursday.
The Herald understands that recruits usually undergo one-week training sessions at the farm, conducting shooting exercises with FN rifles and other weapons as part of their training. This was the first incident in which recruits and members of the police are struck by lightning during training in the country.
Several people have been killed, while others were injured after being struck by lightning in recent months and years. In February this year, several people were left homeless after five homesteads were struck by lightning in Muzarabani. Last year, 38 people were struck by lightning across the country during the rainy season.
Lightning is described by experts as a powerful sudden flow of electricity (an electrostatic discharge) accompanied by thunder that occurs during a storm. The discharge will travel between the electrically charged regions within a thundercloud, or between a cloud and another cloud, or between a cloud and the ground. The charged regions within the atmosphere temporarily equalise themselves through a lightning flash, commonly referred to as a strike if it hits an object on the ground. There are three primary types of lightning: from a cloud to itself (intra-cloud or IC); from one cloud to another cloud (CC) and between a cloud and the ground (CG). Although lightning is always accompanied by the sound of thunder, distant lightning may be seen, but may be too far away for the thunder to be heard.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Lightning strikes 9 pupils in Tororo, Uganda

Tororo- Nine pupils at Abubakari Primary School in Tororo Municipality were on Monday (20/10/2014) admitted in critical condition to Tororo hospital after they were struck by lightning.
A doctor at the hospital Andrew Opete said the children, who had been unconscious, had gained stability. “We are doing everything possible, in fact, they are already out of danger,” Dr Opete said.
Those admitted include Hahfa Binti Rasul (P.7), Ibrahim Walugo (P.6), Kefas Gonyil (P.4), Edrisa Hifude (P.5), Abdu Wahab Kato (P.5), Eddi Ojambo (P.4), Abdushakus Swale (P.4), Araphat Kakule (P.6) and Swaibu Wasswa (P.6).
According to Ms Rose Atabong, a teacher at the school, said the children had been playing in the school compound when lightning struck.
“It was not even raining and the children were just playing in the compound,” she said.
However, the school does not have lightning arresters, which contravene the Ministry of Education policy guidelines.
Tororo Municipality inspector of schools Patrick Ereboi blamed the school for failing to install the arresters, saying: “We inspected Abubakari P/S early this month and recommended that the school installs a lightening arrester and fire extinguishers for the children’s safety. But we are surprised that they haven’t put those facilities in place up to now.”
Only nine schools out 15 in Tororo Municipality have lightning arrestors.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Lightning injures students in Mwanza

Seventeen Kabuhoro Secondary School students in the city of Mwanza survived death on Wednesday, when they got hit by lightning following the ongoing heavy rains in the entire Lake Zone.

The seasonal short rains have began across the country accompanied by calamities involving lightning in some areas. Police here confirmed the incident.
According to the Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Valentino Mlowola, 17 students at Kabuhoro Secondary School in the municipality have been reported to be injured.
“Yes, we have confirmed the incident of lightning at the school,but reports we gathered have it that their condition is improving with medical treatment at the Sekou Toure Regional Hospital,” he said.
He said that 14 students got some electrical shocks and were rushed to the hospital and treated accordingly. Three students have been admitted for more investigations and closer medical attention.
However, Commander Mlowola said that in normal circumstances the police are not in the position to issue further public caution following the incident, since lightning is a natural calamity that cannot be controlled.
Commenting on the incident, the Regional Academic Officer, Mr Gervase Sezulu, said that Form Four students were in their classroom when they met the accident at 8.00 in the morning.
He challenged the government to make sure the school buildings and classrooms that are under construction are safeguarded with preventive gear like stable health wires to help regulate the possible effects of natural attacks that usually arrive unexpectedly.