Letters - Stay safe in a thunderstorm

THE death of an elderly couple killed by lightning while jogging in Puchong on Sunday is indeed sad. The incident occurred before the rain fell and they were about to return home due to the darkening sky.

The thunderstorm season has begun and the public should note some safety rules:

» STOP all outdoor activities and take shelter as soon as you see dark clouds. Lightning can strike up to 15km away and before rain starts.

» RUN for shelter if you can hear thunder or see a lightning bolt. You are in already in danger.

» NEVER use an umbrella in a lightning storm.

» DO NOT take shelter under a tree, in a tent, a small shed, a kongsi, a rotunda or a stall. For small shelters, ensure that they are installed with a proper lightning protection system.

» TAKE shelter inside a shop, house, bus, van, car or under a large structure.

» DO NOT loiter outside a large building to avoid being struck by debris from lightning damage.

» IF there is no proper shelter nearby, get down from an elevated position (mound, hill top or platform). Get into any depression in the ground or a dry drain.

» GET into a lightning defensive position – squat with your feet together and cover your ears with your hands.

» DO NOT lie down.

» DO NOT touch anyone or any metal objects.

» IF it rains, get your clothes wet to reduce serious injuries if struck by lightning. Let the current flow over you instead of inside you.

» IN a shelter, DO NOT touch any metallic object, electric equipment or cable. DO NOT use the telephone unless it is urgent. Use a mobile phone. Keep away from the balcony, verandah, doorway, window, wall or pillar.

» STAY in your shelter for 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. Lightning can strike up to 15km away from the thundercloud even after the rain has stopped

Za Hartono
Kuala Lumpur