A 45-YEAR-OLD shellfish gleaner died while two others were hurt after lightning struck the cottage they were at in Sitio Takan, Barangay Agus in Lapu-Lapu City last Saturday.
Eutiquio Paraquoli was declared dead in the hospital after he, together with Michael Perolino and Ramil Layson, were hit by lightning at 8:30 p.m.
The three reportedly sought shelter in a cottage a few meters from where they were gleaning seashells when the lightning struck, SPO1 Richard Alforte, desk officer of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Station 4, said.
A bolt of lightning hit the cottage, causing electrical shocks on the three men.
Perolino and Layson were hit, but it was Paraquoli who succumbed to burns.
He was declared dead at 11 p.m., while the other two are recuperating in the hospital.
Agus Barangay Captain Jimboy Igot said the rain started past 8 p.m. on Saturday, accompanied by thunder and lighting, which also caused a brownout in Opon.
Igot said they will extend financial assistance to Paraquoli’s family.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) yesterday said that if lightning and thunderstorm are near a house or building, turn off the main power switch.
Al Quiblat, chief of Pagasa Mactan, said that lightning and thunderstorm strike anytime and anywhere and they have no way of warning the public.
He said that one sign of impending lightning and thunderstorm is a “cumulunimbus” cloud, which is a thick white cloud.
He said that if the cloud unveiled like an inverted shoe, and the color changes from white to dark, it will produce lightning and thunderstorm.
“You have to seek shelter so you will not expose yourself. Don’t touch any pointed object, including persons, metal and trees. Metal is a good electric conductor,” Quiblat said.
He also advised not to touch a metal faucet inside the house because once the lightning hits the ground and the water pipeline outside the house, it will connect to the faucet inside the house in split seconds.
Quiblat also advised the people not to use electric gadgets like computers and cellular phones, among others. These are also good electric conductors.
“Your main concern is to turn off the main switch of the house or building to stop all electrical gadgets from working and avoid lightning connections,” Quiblat said.
He is also advising the public not to swarm up when lightning and thunderstorm come as these will make them prone to being hit.
He said five people were killed by lightning in Ormoc City because they were close together when it hit them.
“If you are outside the house and lightning will strike, don’t go near a post or a tree. See to it that you are away from it at a distance at least twice its length,” Quiblat said.
If there’s no place to hide, lie on the ground face down, keep close the toes on your feet and cover your ears.
“If the lightning will hit you, it will pass from one toe to another and go to the ground without hitting your heart. It will also not damage your hearing sense,” Quiblat said. (EOB, JOB)