M’sia third highest in lightning strikes

PETALING JAYA: Extra precautions must be taken against lightning strikes with the Meteorological Department forecasting thunderstorms over the next few weeks.

Lightning expert Prof Ir Dr Mohd Zainal Abidin Ab Kadir said lightning occurence was higher during the inter-monsoon period in April, May, September and October.

He said many Malaysians were unaware of this statistic – Malaysia has the third highest lightning activity in the world.

US National Lightning Safety Institute records, Dr Mohd Zainal said, showed that Malaysia experienced an average of 180 to 260 thunderstorm days a year, after Indonesia (322) and Columbia (275 to 320).

“The institute rates lightning as one of the worst natural killers, causing at least 25,000 deaths worldwide each year,’’ said the director of the Centre for Electromagnetic and Lightning Protection Research at Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Between 2008 and May this year, he said, 110 deaths and 131 injuries due to lightning were reported.

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