Editorial: When lightning strikes-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
IT'S a saying that has become believable by repetition: lightning never strikes the same place twice. It is also taken to mean something else: that an unlikely thing never happens to the same person twice.
Like, you feel safer after your house was robbed because you think that “lightning never strikes the same place twice.”
But the claim that lightning never strikes the same place twice is a myth. A weatherman-blogger noted that the Empire State Building gets struck by lightning 100 times a year.
The report that lightning struck twice in Toledo City last Wednesday, killing two people in the process, was therefore not unique. Besides, the lightning technically did not strike the same place, only the same city.
A woman, Marife Lavajo, got struck with lightning in Sitio Bawod, Barangay Magdugo while a man, Victoriano Macagay, was hit in Barangay Biga, which was located about a kilometer away. So the Toledo lightning incident was interesting only because of death of two people.
The situation is different in Pinamungajan, where two “unusual” occurrences happened: a hailstorm and a waterspout (alimpus). The hailstorm happened in Sitio Pundol, Barangay Binabag while the waterspout passed Barangay Pandacan.
It was not the first hailstorm that hit the town, however. In May last year, a hailstorm occurred in Barangays Lamac and Punod, raining ice-like particles slightly bigger than marbles. A senior weather specialist in Mactan described it as the “first in Cebu.”
So hailstorms do strike a place twice also. As for the waterspout, it looks like Pinamungajan is one favorite destination (the other being a barangay in Talisay City). Both are coastal towns.
Fortunately, the damage from these “unusual” occurrences has been minimal so far. A house or two destroyed here, fallen trees there. But it is precisely because these are not common happenings that particular attention must be given to them.
The people’s knowledge of hailstorms and waterspouts, for example, is very limited, so an information drive needs to be held to raise the people’s level of awareness of the said problems especially in affected areas and how these should be dealt with.
The worst thing to happen is when these occurrences are ignored because these do not happen often.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 06, 2013.