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LIGHTNING is one of the most beautiful displays in nature but it is also one of the most deadly natural phenomena to mankind.
Lightning is a sudden high-voltage discharge of electricity that occurs within a cloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. Globally, there are about 40 to 50 flashes of lightning every second or nearly 1.4 billion flashes per year. Each year, lightning strikes kill people, livestock, and wildlife. It is also responsible for billions of dollars in damage to buildings, communication systems, power lines, and electrical equipment. There are two main types of lightning strikes, Direct Lightning Strike and Indirect Lightning Strike.
Direct lightning happen when the lightning strike on the power distribution lines or the Lightning Conductor of a building. At the strike points, it induces a current surge which will propagate several kilometres to a point of contact. When this type of lightning strikes on building or any domestic and industrial equipment, they will continue to receive high energy impulses having peak values of several thousand amperes, thus bringing damages to electrical and electronic equipment at all times.
An indirect lightning strike happens when the lightning strikes to the ground and increase the ground potential over a radius of several kilometres wide, inducing overvoltage in any underground cables and also raising the potential of any earth terminals. Therefore it can have a destructive effect on any electrical equipment installations even if situated several kilometres away from the actual point of strike.
Global Lightning Frequency & Density
The image map above shows the number of lightning flashes per kilometer square per year; and Malaysia is at the upper end of the scale. Malaysia has one of the highest number of lightning strikes in the world (ref: National Lightning Safety Institute). Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and can occur up to 16 km away from rainfall.