Thursday, September 27, 2007
Medical Reports: Striking truth
Some of us never leave the house without our iPod or cell phone, but does that make us more susceptible to being hit by lightening? Seven's Diana Diaz has the Striking Truth.
WSVN -- Florida is ranked number one when it comes to lightning strikes.
Robert Molleda, weather forecaster: "In South Florida, we average two lightning deaths and nine injuries as a result of lightning on a yearly basis. This year, up to now, we've had six deaths and 12 injuries."
Lightening hits buildings and houses. It was blamed for igniting a fire at a condo complex in Plantation.
Brian Taylor: "There's something about watching everything you own disappear. You can't even describe it."
It hits people. A beloved gardener was killed after being struck without warning by a bolt of lightening that came from a clear blue sky.
Samantha Canales: "My mom was home by herself, and she heard the lightning. She said it was the loudest lightning she'd ever heard, and she went outside to check on the gardeners, and that's when they found him."
Jason Bunch: "Next thing I knew I woke up vomiting, bleeding from the ears, in my room about two hours later."
Jason Brunch was wearing his iPod at the time, and there have been several cases of people with electronic devices being hit by lightening, but do those devices attract the bolts?
Robert Molleda: "Lightning is usually attracted to high objects or tall objects. For example, tress, tall buildings, could be telephone poles, antennas, anything that sticks out pretty high in the sky."
So, whether you have your cell phone or not, your risk is based on whether you are the highest object in the area.
In fact, just being outdoors during a storm puts you at risk. To stay safe, follow the 30/30 rule.
Robert Molleda: "If you see a lightning flash, and you hear the thunder within 30 seconds that means that the storm is too close, and you should head in doors."
The second 30, means to wait 30 minutes after the last thunder roars before going back outdoors. Also, stay away from bodies of water and don't stand under a tree.
Robert Molleda: "As a last resort, crouch down on the ground. Make yourself as low of an object as possible."
Diana Diaz: "Remember, if you see someone that has been struck, first call 911, then administer CPR until help arrives."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
National Weather Service
Dr. Frederick Keroff
Memorial Regional Hospital
3501 Johnson Street
Hollywood, FL 33021