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IT was indeed sad to read of an elderly couple who died after being struck by lightning while jogging in Puchong on Sunday. The incident occurred before rainfall as they were returning home.

A similar incident happened a few years ago when an elderly man was struck by lightning while jogging in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.

The thunderstorm season has started, so the public should be reminded of safety tips:

STOP all outdoor activities and seek shelter as soon as you see dark thunderclouds on the horizon. Lightning can strike up to 15km from thunderclouds, even before the rain starts;

IF you can hear thunder or see a lightning bolt, seek shelter immediately. You may be in danger of being struck by lightning;

DON’T wait for rainfall before you act. Sometimes, lightning occurs before the rain falls.

Never use an umbrella in a lightning storm;

DON’T seek shelter under a tree or in a tent, small shed, “kongsi”, rotunda or roadside food stall.

For small shelters, ensure that they are installed with lightning protection systems before you take shelter in them;

DO take shelter inside a sturdy or large building, a metal roofed vehicle (a bus, van or car) or under a large structure.

To avoid being struck by debris from lightning damage, do not stand outside a large building;

IF there is no proper shelter nearby, get down from an elevated position (mound, hilltop or platform).

Get into any depression in the ground or a dry drain;

GET into a lightning safety position — squat down with your feet together and close your ears with your hands.

Don’t lie down. Don’t touch anyone or any metal objects;

IF it is raining, make sure to wet your clothes as wet clothing reduces serious injuries to a lightning-struck person. Let the current flow over you, not inside you;

INSIDE the shelter, don’t touch any metallic objects, electric equipment or cable.

Don’t use the telephone unless it is urgent. Use a mobile phone instead (if it is available).

Keep away from the balcony, verandah, doorway, window, wall or pillar; and,

STAY inside your shelter for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. Lightning can strike up to 15km from thunderclouds, even after the rain has stopped.

Z.A. HARTONO Kuala Lumpur

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