The National – Thursday, December 2, 2010
By YVONNE HAIP
LIGHTNING has struck again in the Highlands – this time killing two men in Chimbu during a heavy electric storm.
In neighbouring Western Highlands, similar heavy rains and strong winds caused much havoc to properties, uprooted trees, rivers burst their banks but no fatalities were reported.
The two men, aged between 18 and 20, were hit by lightning at the weekend as they were taking shelter under a high-rise house in the Kup Gamar area of Kerowagi district.
Eyewitnesses said they were taking part in an off-season rugby league competition when an electric storm hit the area, forcing players and spectators to seek shelter under trees and nearby buildings.
The two died immediately and two others, burnt and shaken, were rushed to the Catholic church-run Mingende hospital outside of Kundiawa.
Attempts to get comments from the hospital and appropriate authorities yesterday were unsuccessful.
Two years ago, an elderly woman was killed by lightning in the same area.
Last Saturday, four people were struck dead by lightning in the upper Mendi area of Southern Highlands.
Twenty others received serious burns at Egari village, 18km outside of Mendi and were treated at the Mendi general hospital.
The four killed were a male teenager and three women, two in their early 20s.
The provincial disaster and emergency relief team had given assurance to the relatives of the victims that some form of relief assistance would be allocated.
At least 20 others were treated for burns and dizziness at the Mendi General Hospital and discharged while three were still in hospital with more serious injuries.