Lightning has killed 56 people in China this year, 17 more than
the same period last year, Yu Rucong, deputy chief of the China
Meteorological Administration, said on Friday.
Another 65 people were injured, 26 more than in the previous
year, Yu said, adding the lightning accidents have caused direct
economic losses of 10.97 million yuan (US$1.4 million) in the first
Yu said lightning strikes are occurring more frequently as the
raining season sets in. On Wednesday afternoon, lightning stuck a
village primary school in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, killing seven school
kids and injuring 44 students.
Yu ordered local meteorological authorities to provide lightning
forecasts via television, radio, Internet, telephone, and mobile
phone text message.
Local governments should also provide lightning forecasts to
schools and villages, he said.
He also urged local authorities to install lightning rods at
schools to prevent further deaths and injuries.
(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2007)