When lightning strikes, take cover


Lightning in science is a sudden electrostatic discharge between a cloud and the ground.  

This discharge is referred to as a strike if it hits an object like the SFC soldier at statehouse, and a flash if it occurs within a cloud.

Objects struck by lightning experience heat and magnetic forces of great magnitude.

Even though roughly 90 percent of people struck by lightning survive, humans or animals struck by lightning may suffer severe injury due to internal organ and nervous system damage.

Buildings or tall structures hit by lightning may be damaged as the lightning seeks unintended paths to ground.

By safely conducting a lightning strike to the ground, a lightning protection system can greatly reduce the probability of severe property damage.

However, lightning serves an important role in the nitrogen cycle by oxidizing nitrogen in the air into nitrates which are deposited by rain and can fertilize the growth of plants and other organisms.

Lightning in culture and religion

In Many cultures, lightning has been viewed as part of a deity or a deity in and of itself.  In the traditional religion of the African Bantu tribes, lightning is a sign of the ire of the gods.

Verses in the Jewish religion and in Islam it is also ascribed to supernatural importance of lightning.

In Christianity, the Second Coming of Jesus is compared to lightning.[Matthew 24:27][Luke 17:24]

The expression “Lightning never strikes twice (in the same place)” is similar to “Opportunity never knocks twice” in the vein of a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, i.e., something that is generally considered improbable.

Lightning and politics

Ahem, Some political parties use lightning flashes as a symbol of power, such as the People’s Action Party in Singapore, the British Union of Fascists during the 1930s, and the National States’ Rights Party in the United States during the 1950s.The Schutzstaffel, the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, used the Sig rune in their logo which symbolizes lightning.

The German word Blitzkrieg, which means “lightning war”, was a major offensive strategy of the German army during World War II

As I had told you in the past, in Uganda, the incarceration of one pastor Ngabo for his defiance by providing religious leadership for FDC weekly prayers became a turning point in the relevance of lighting in Uganda politics.

It was during the same time that his wife proclaimed that lightning will strike those responsible for her husband’s incarceration. Indeed the effects were loud and clear.  

Soldiers guarding Statehouse Entebbe and Nakasero weren’t spared and lives were lost.  May their souls rest in eternal peace.

It was not only the SFC soldiers who were hit, but a kids’ party in France was struck and a soccer play ground in Germany was also hit by lightning.  Some 11 kids were hospitalised in France and 30 were hospitalised in Germany.Lightning always looks for the quickest to hit the earth so taking shelter under a tree is a hazard.

I also should tell you that when Hon. Jim Muhwezi was campaigning for the 1st time as MP against Rwomushana who was my CA delegate in rukungiri, a local church school had been hit by lightning with some fatalities.

He used the unfortunate incident to install a lightning conductor on each building in that school and I tell you what, he got 99% of the vote at that polling station.

NB: The Unicode symbol for lightning is U+2607


The author is a Ugandan researcher, writer and news reporter .

Theinsider Uganda is a news publishing website. We are located at Suite G25 Metroplex Shopping mall, Naalya Kampala Uganda. info@theinsider.ug
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