Three women died after being struck by lightning Tuesday while sheltering under a tree during a thundershower in China's southernmost island province of Hainan.
They were working in the field when the downpour started about 2:00 pm. The victims were all related to a local farmer surnamed Zheng, said Fu Binghui, deputy head of Dongcheng Township.
Fu identified the three as Zheng's mother, her elder sister and an 11-year-old niece.
The island province of Hainan reports a high occurrence of thunderbolts, which cause casualties and losses every year.
Zhang Haibo, an official of Dongcheng Township, said the local government had used broadcasts and bulletins to tell local farmers how to protect themselves from lightning.
(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2004)