The silver bolt that brings death

BANGALORE, MAY 1. An engineering college student in Mysore died last week when he was struck by lightning. Thunderstorms are more common in Bangalore now than before, during summer, and again, when the monsoon breaks.

What causes lightning? When two clouds of opposite charges collide, lightning occurs due to friction, scientists say. Depending on the intensity of the collision and charges, sparks in the form of lightning strike the earth by ionising the column of air between the earth and the colliding clouds.

This ionised column of air has a high degree of luminosity, which is termed lightning, and it induces high-voltage electricity. The current gets dissipated on the surface of the earth and dies down. If anybody happens to be very close to the place where it strikes, the person dies of electric shock.

K.S.N. Bhat of Mysore has researched the subject of lightning and has a few tips to avoid being struck by lightning (see graphics).

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