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Don’t use mobile if you want to avoid being hit by lightning, says Madhya Pradesh weather dept

The Jabalpul, Rewa, Shahdol and Sagar regions of Madhya Pradesh may witness thundershowers over the next two days due to the onset of the monsoon. At least six people have been killed due to lightning strikes across the state in the last 24 hours.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2018 12:40 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
A scientist with the Madhya Pradesh MeT department said the electric circuit in a mobile phone could ‘attract’ a lightning strike.(Samir Jana/HT File Photo)

With the threat of thunderstorms looming large, the Madhya Pradesh meteorological department has advised residents of four divisions in the state against using their mobile phones in the open until Friday to avoid being struck by lightning.

GD Mishra – a senior scientist with the state meteorological department – said the Jabalpur, Rewa, Shahdol and Sagar regions may witness thundershowers due to the onset of the monsoon. “We have issued a general warning to people on how to prevent being struck by lightning. People usually take shelter under trees during rains to make or receive calls on their mobile phones. This puts them at an increased risk of being struck,” he added.

At least six people have been killed due to lightning strikes across the state in the last 24 hours.

Mishra also told people to avoid open areas and water bodies during the rains. “The chance of lightning strikes is higher in June-July,” he said.

Vivek Chhalotre, another scientist with the Met department, offered a different reason for shunning mobile phones during thunderstorms. “Mobile phones have electronic components and their functioning is based on electrical circuits. They also contain rechargeable batteries. Hence, if a person uses a cellphone in bad weather, there is a chance of lightning completing its circuit through the phone – with the caller bearing the brunt of the strike,” he said.

According to the disaster management institute, lightning strikes claim anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 lives across Madhya Pradesh every year.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 12:33 IST