Nine killed by lightning in five months

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2009, 12:00am

About 670,000 bolts of lightning have struck the mainland in the past five months and nine people were killed, according to Yu Xinwen, spokesman for the China Meteorological Administration.

Compared with the same period last year, the number of lightning strikes had increased by more than 13 per cent, Mr Yu said. However, the number of fatalities had dropped dramatically.

'On May 23, 2007, a country primary school in Chongqing was struck by lightning. Seven students were killed and 39 injured,' Mr Yu said. 'The incident has prompted a national campaign to fight against lightning disasters.

'The central and local governments have spent more than 72 million yuan [HK$81.7 million] on 3,000 schools to set up anti-lightning facilities. In 2008, no students were killed, and the total death toll was reduced by 55 per cent from the previous year.

'But it's too soon to heave a sigh of relief. With the coming rainy reason, the threat will be more severe this year.'