The eight-year-old was struck while walking with his mother to his home in Kedah.
An eight-year-old boy had the misfortune of getting struck by lightning while on his way back home. Azizul Jaafar who was with his 39-year-old mother, Nor Lelawati Abu Bakar, suffered burns to almost his entire body from the incident.
Kangar police chief Yusharifuddin Yusop noted that the incident had occurred at 7pm on Monday.
Azizul had returned from a neighbour’s house and was walking back to his house in Kampung Permatang Kerisek, Kedah with his mother when it happened.
“It was raining. Nor Lelawati had gone to fetch her son from a neighbour’s house,” said Yusharifuddin in a statement.
Fortunately, Nor Lelawati was not injured. She is, however, traumautised from the incident.
The eight-year-old is currently being treated at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar.
How common is it?
This incident is certainly disheartening to hear. That said, this is unfortunately a common occurrence in Malaysia as our country experiences frequent and violent thunderstorms due to the geographical location of our country.
In fact, Malaysia is among the top three countries in the world with high lightning density, experiencing an annual mean lightning ground flash density of 13.9 flashes per square kilometer yearly.
In the Klang Valley alone, there are an average of 240 days of thunderstorms per year, resulting in Malaysia having among the highest number of deaths caused by lightning strikes.
To date, there have been over 132 deaths from lightning strikes. Of these, 89 were in Peninsular Malaysia, 22 in Sabah, and 21 in Sarawak.
As such, it is always advisable to stay indoors during a heavy thunderstorm. It is also best to avoid concrete walls and lying on concrete floors.
In addition, it is best to never use an umbrella during thunderstorms. This is because the lightning charges may come in contact with the person by passing through the metallic rod of the umbrella, causing an electric shock.
Furthermore, it helps when individuals stay away from trees and tall objects as they may fall on the individuals if the lightning were to strike.