Malaysia negara panahan petir tertinggi di dunia
Malaysia adalah antara negara yang paling banyak panahan petir di dunia selepas Rwanda dan Congo.
Tapi kita tidak ada statistik berapa ramai yang mati , yang cedera , yang hampir terkena panahan petir setiap tahun. Anggaran kasar mengatakan mereka yang mati akibat dipanah petir di Malaysia ialah 10 kali ganda lebih tinggi daripada mereka di Amerika Syarikat dari segi kadar penduduk.
Kita tiada program kesedaran mengenai langkah yang perlu diambil ketika dengar guruh , nampak awan hitam , hujan renyai , hujan lebat dan sebagainya untuk berlindung dari kemungkinan petir menyambar bila-bila masa.
Anak-anak , remaja bahkan orang tua buat tak kisah main di padang bola , di padang golf , memancing ketika nampak hujan nak turun. Setidak-tidaknya tanya diri dulu dah sembahyang ke belum , ayat Quran yang mana patut di baca ketika guruh dan petir.
Bak kata Encik Hartono Zainal Abidin seorang yang pakar dalam petir dan seorang jurutera perunding dalam artikel akhbar The Star “We shouldn’t wait until lightning strikes a VIP before we take strong action.” – Kita tak perlu tunggu hingga petir panah seorang VIP baru kita nak bertindak.
Terjemahan Al Quran : “Dan Dia lah juga yang guruh dan malaikat bertasbih memujiNya, kerana takut kepadaNya. Dan Dia lah juga yang menghantarkan petir, lalu Ia mengenakan dengan panahannya kepada sesiapa yang dikehendakinya Dan mereka yang ingkar itu membantah (serta mendustakan Rasul) mengenai perkara yang berhubung dengan Allah (dan kuat kuasaNya) Padahal Ia amat keras azab seksanya.”
(Surah Ar-Ra’d , ayat 13)
Top Lightning Flash Density Sites Worldwide
Kamembe, Rwanda 82.7
Boende, Dem. Rep. Congo 66.3
Lusambo, Dem. Rep. Congo 52.1
Kananga, Dem. Rep. Congo 50.3
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 48.3
Lightning generates extremely large surge current and voltage. Malaysia ranks as one of the highest lightning activities in the world, where the average-thunder day level for Kuala Lumpur is within 180 - 300 days per annum. Eighty percent of the lightning discharge currents to the ground in Malaysia exceed 20 kA with potentials approaching 50 to 100 million volts.
Sunday May 17, 2009
Land of lightning
ON Monday, 10 people on a squid fishing boat were injured when they were struck by lightning in waters off Kuala Terengganu.
On May 7, Mohd Fozei Saad, an ustaz (religious teacher) in Alor Setar, was riding his motorbike home from school with his son when he was killed by lightning.
And then, there is property damage. On April 11, a fire broke out at the Putrajaya Hospital after it was struck by lightning. Staff evacuated all 14 patients in the orthopaedic ward before the ceiling collapsed.
In November 2007, two oil storage tanks at the Shell Malaysia refinery in Port Dickson caught fire after being struck by lightning. A year earlier in December, a lightning strike near the Ipoh Selatan exit of the North-South Highway fried the computerised systems. However, this act of God did not absolve motorists from paying tolls, which were then collected manually – resulting in a 8km-long traffic jam.
“In 2005, a strike knocked out one dozen passenger bridges to aircraft at the KL International Airport. When I was called in, I found that the lightning grounding systems were not done properly.”
So, Malaysia is a lightning cauldron – which may boil over.
“Global warming will probably increase the severity and frequency of thunderstorms,” says Saw.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Prof Liew Ah Choy of the National University of Singapore, a specialist in lightning protection and electrical engineering, predicts that 2009 will be another “hell year” for lightning.
Despite the high incidence of lightning strikes, Hartono Zainal Abidin, a local lightning expert and consultant engineer, bemoans the lack of awareness of the dangers.
“People often continue playing football in the field even though there is thunder.”
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 27 and 45 people in America were killed in lightning accidents in 2008 and 2007 respectively (89% were male!)
Hartono estimates that Malaysia has a similar number of fatalities.
“But when you consider that America has about 300 million people while we have only 27 million, that means our lightning death rate is actually 10 times more than theirs,” he adds.
Hartono notes that Singapore also has much better awareness about lightning safety.
In Singapore, small park gazebos have been earthed in just such a manner.
Hartono suggests the authorities give short safety messages during weather forecasts on TV. In the US, he adds, the National Weather Service conducts a lightning safety programme at the beginning of every summer. That’s a programme American meteorologist Ron Holle is very familiar with.
Thanks to public education, he says deaths and injuries in the US have dropped significantly over the past decade but creating awareness is never-ending.
Surely that is good enough reason to start the education process in Malaysia immediately. As Hartono puts it, “We shouldn’t wait until lightning strikes a VIP before we take strong action.”
Dicatat oleh Den di 2.2.13