It was 18:00Hrs IST, when I left my office on my journey back home. It started to drizzle and it slowly began to rain. The the thunders I heard were something I never heard before. The lightening was so bright and the rods of lightening were really long and powerful.
Powerful lightening?? I was driving and had stopped at the signal, when this disastrous lightening struck. I just remember the sound of the thunder and the brightness of light....nothing else! I went into a total blackout for a brief period of time. I opened my eyes with a heavy chest and a pain in my heart. It felt like my heart was being pressed from all sides, and I was perspiring very heavily with a little difficulty in breathing.
I hit my chest heavily, and forcefully took in bursts of oxygen through my nostrils. I regained consciousness and was able to maneuver my car to the roadside. I didn't know what came over me, and I felt like I was possessed. This was the worst moment in my life thus far.
I called up my dad (he is a doctor) on his mobile, and he told me to stop driving for sometime and take rest. I checked by heart rate - It was beating at more than 120bpm for more than 20minutes! I was feeling unnerved and was very irritated. I drove slowly and reached home at about 20Hrs IST. My dad checked my blood pressure, and the systolic reading was showing 94. He told me that this was due to the lightening. The lightening must've struck quiet close by, that it affected my heart's functioning for a brief period (Thankfully!!). The breathlessness also was due to the same - The lightening eats up oxygen in the air, and it gets really tough to breathe (Thankfully, my car saved me)
I read multiple postings later on the internet, and came across multiple articles that briefed on what all could happen if one is affected by a lightening strike. To know more on the effects of lightening on human body, read this link.
So, here are some tips for you the next time a thunderstorm approaches:
- Go inside a home or large building, if you can.
- Avoid using electrical appliances such as telephones, computers, or television sets.
- If no building is available, try to get into a car. The metal frame will conduct the lightning safely into the ground.
- If stuck outside, do not take shelter under a tall, isolated tree.
- Stay away from open water.
- If you are trapped in an open field and you feel your hair stand on end, lightning is about to strike. Drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hand on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
That sounds like a close shave ! Glad to know that you could reach home unscathed. Did something near your car conduct the lightning ?
Here is what NASA says about O3 (Ozone) and lightning "
Sometimes you think you can smell lightning. Actually, what you smell is the ozone produced by lightning. (Ozone is three oxygen molecules - O3 - bound together. It breaks down into a molecule - O2 - plus an atom of free oxygen - O - that reacts with anything handy (including nerve endings in your nose.)"
Take Care and drive safe.
The lightening didn't hit me. But, it had affected the regular functioning of my heart for a brief period.
Its only today morning, that I read the newspaper to see that the lightening had struck the Mylapore temple (I was at Music academy y'day).
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