Total of 7,318 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes recorded by Hong Kong Observatory between 2pm – 2.59pm today


20th April 2019 – (Hong Kong) According to Hong Kong Observatory, the heavy showers in the afternoon brought more than 40 millimetres of rainfall to many places, and rainfall even exceeded 70 millimetres over parts of the New Territories.

There were a total of 1,537 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes at Tai O and Lantau Island between 2pm to 2.59pm today. A total of 7,318 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded in the entire city. The most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded in Central and Kowloon areas with a total of 2,630 times.

When a bolt of lightning does strike a human frame, very bad things happen. In addition to the 300kV of energy coursing through you, the power of the strike heats the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees F, causing third degree burns at the bolt’s entry and exit points. It can also create lightning bolt-shaped burn marks, called Lichtenberg figures, which are caused by bursting blood vessels. The heat and force can singe and shred clothing. Lightning strikes have blown people clear out of their shoes.

A man who was hiking on Lion’s Hill in Tai O was reportedly struck by lightning today at around 2pm today. He was pronounced dead at 5.25pm at the hospital.

The damage can be even worse if you are holding a metal object. For one thing, doing so increases the likelihood of being struck in the first place. A big reason Florida leads the nation in annual lightning-related deaths and injuries (126 deaths in the last decade alone) isn’t from regional topography but due to the state’s vibrant golf industry. Legions of players frantically break out the nine irons to finish the round ahead of an oncoming storm. Second, wearing metal objects while—chains, necklaces, braces…piercings—can cause electrical arcing and rapidly heat, causing serious burns of their own.

The most dangerous (and possibly fatal) immediate complications are cardiovascular and neurologic. It must be kept in mind that only immediate and effective cardiorespiratory resuscitation (started by rescuers), followed as soon as possible by emergency medical treatment, can save victims who are in cardiopulmonary arrest, or avert the serious consequences of cerebral hypoxia. Some victims remain in a coma despite intensive resuscitation and die of secondary causes including hemorrhages and multiple lesions (encephalic, cardiac, pulmonary, intra-abdominal).

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