Lightning kills six South Africans

Lightning kills six South Africans

Monday, February 2, 2015 11:00 pm

Lighting has killed six persons in separate incidents and seriously injured three others in South Africa, authorities said Monday.

The incidents took place in the past few days in KwaZulu-Natal province in eastern South Africa, where lighting is frequent during summer.

In one incident, three family members died when lightning struck their house, Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said.

In another incident, two women, aged between 70 and 80, and a man, believed to be in his sixties, were killed after they were struck by lightning, said McKenzie.

Three other women sustained serious injuries and were admitted to hospital for treatment.

Thunderstorms, generating big electrical discharges, are common in South Africa’s eastern and northern provinces between October and March.

South Africa has one of the highest lightning ground strike densities in the world. Particularly in recent years, deaths from lightning are growing in rural areas.

The annual average number of lightning-related deaths is 6.3 per million of the population, more than 15 times the global average, according to the South African weather service.

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