KATHMANDU, Nepal–With the onset of pre–monsoon season, the incidents of lightning and subsequent death of people have been increasing across the country.
More than 300 people have died after being hit by lightning in the last three years alone. As many as 110 people have been killed by lightning in the Nepali year 2070 BS, which began in mid-April 2013 and will end in mid April-2014, according to Nepal Disaster Report (NDR) prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA).
Likewise, in the previous year (mid-April 2012 to mid-April 2013), a total of 131 people were succumbed to thunderbolt alone while in the year before that, 103 people lost their life due to lightening in various part of the country.
The report, prepared by a team of disaster experts, also states that lightning was the fifth biggest disaster killer in Nepal during the period. It further disclosed that altogether 1,034 incidents of lightning have been recorded in Nepal between 1971 and 2010. In those four decades, as many as 970 people were killed and 1,810 people were injured by lightning.
Experts say loss of human lives by lightning is avoidable. “Lightning cannot be avoided,” says Kedar Lal Shrestha, a former vice-chancellor of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).