News reports from Villa Gesell, about 300 km (200 miles) south-east of Buenos Aires, reveal the victims had been sheltering from a storm on the beach when the lightning struck.
Duh! What could give people protection on sand? Perhaps they thought the area offered safety.
Just goes to show we should all know what to do in a thunderstorm.
Eyewitnesses spoke of a terrible noise and said some people were thrown in the air by the powerful bolt. Many of the injured have suffered burns, two of them seriously.
I rarely hear about people being struck by lightning nowadays. However, my research revealed a staggering figure.
Worldwide, approximately 10,000 people are killed by lightning every year and 100,000 are injured. One of nature's most awe inspiring and dangerous phenomenons, the average lightning flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months! The temperature of a lightning bolt may reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hotter than the surface of the sun!
Casting fiction aside, we should all know what to do when lightning is about.
Once you hear thunder, it is time to act. Generally speaking, when you can see lightning or hear thunder, you're already at risk of injury or death. If the time delay between seeing the flash (lightning) and hearing the bang (thunder) is less than 30 seconds, immediately seek a safer location.
Avoid high places and open fields, isolated trees, gazebos, open sided picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, communication towers, flagpoles, light poles, bleachers (metal or wood), metal fences, convertibles, golf carts, and any form of open water.
Inside, don't use of the telephone or computer, and avoid taking a shower, washing your hands, doing dishes, or any contact with conductive surfaces with exposure to the outside such as metal door or window frames, electrical wiring, telephone wiring, cable TV wiring, plumbing, etc.
If you're driving, stay in your automobile but don't touch metal. The enclosed area offers reasonably good protection from lightning.
Don't watch lightning from an open door or window. It's almost as dangerous as staying outside. Best to turn off electrical equipment too, like the television and computer to prevent a power surge.
My only bad experience of lightning happened about ten years ago when it penetrated the living room through the window. Taken by surprise, I watched the jagged flash spell-bound. My greyhound dog never got over the fright and shivered uncontrollably during every storm afterward. Animal's coats and ears give them more sensitivity than people. He must have suffered.