|LIGHTNING IS A THREAT EVEN OUTSIDE THE TROPICS
Morocco, a country found in northwestern corner of Africa, is outside the tropics so one might conclude that there is little risk of injury or death from lightning. Morocco also seems to be 'low risk' because it is largely dessert with little rainfall, particularly in the location where it struck earlier this month, killing two boys and injuring six others.
March 2021 opened with the fatal lightning incident in central Morocco in the province of El Kelâa des Sraghna. The boys who died or were injured were playing soccer in an open-air field when lightning struck. This is similar to the recent mass casualty incident in August of 2020 when ten boys were killed at a soccer game near the town of Odramacaku at the border between Uganda and DRC. The problem in both cases seems to be that young boys find it difficult to stop a game when it starts to rain. They are filled with energy and don't think about the danger of lightning and thunderstorms.
It will take time and multi-dimensional efforts to make it common knowledge that ‘When thunder roars, go indoors
’ should be a guiding rule. In some cases, there might not be observable roaring of thunder, particularly if this was the first strike of the storm, but many times lightning is part of clouds that bring rain or drizzle. This is the public safety information that we need to drive into the minds of everybody across Africa.