On Sunday, as beach-goers in Florida were taking pleasure in a warm afternoon, a thunderstorm rolled in.

A bolt of lightning struck the sand on Clearwater Beach around 12: 42 in the afternoon.

A male in his 40 s, whose identity has actually not been launched, took a direct hit. 7 other individuals neighboring were tossed from their feet and hurt.

“It was this huge strike. This man, he got struck by lightning and he fell,” witness Kenijah Everson informed ABC affiliate WFTS Tampa Bay

The guy entered into heart attack. Onlookers carried out CPR and dragged him and the other victims off the beach. The guy was hurried to a close-by medical facility and is presently in vital condition. Among the hurt survivors was likewise dealt with for burns, WFTS reported.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the chances of getting struck by lightning in a given year is 1 in 700,000 About 10% of victims pass away; lightning eliminated nearly 3,696 Americans in between 1959 and2003


The majority of survivors of a lightning strike, nevertheless, experience long-lasting results, consisting of extreme burns, mental retardation, deafness, and amnesia. Here’s what occurs if you get struck by lightning.

Lightning strikes sear clothes, scar skin, and deafen ears

A lot can take place in the three-thousandths of a 2nd it considers a lightning bolt to course through your body.

As the lightning strikes then exits your body, your hair and clothes may singe or ignite, and perhaps even break down.

Learn More: The most frightening part about getting struck by lightning is what occurs to you later on

If you take place to be using metal items, like a locket, those products can funnel the electrical existing and scorch your skin with third-degree burns.

Lightning that exits the body through the feet can actually knock your shoes off ( According to the National Weather Condition Service, the explosive force of lightning can trigger blunt injury leading to fractures or soft-tissue injuries.)

It’s likewise not unusual for the blast to burst the eardrums, perhaps causing hearing loss.

What’s more, capillary burst due to the electrical discharge, and the heat can develop a scarring pattern called a Lichtenberg figure on the skin (though it’s uncommon). These scars branch off throughout one’s body like the limbs of a tree, tracing the course the electrical energy took as it took a trip.

A Lichtenberg figure.
Wojtek Plonka/Shutterstock

Lightning brings in between 1 to 10 billion joules of energy– adequate to power a 100- watt bulb for a minimum of 3 months When that quantity of electrical energy enters your body, it short-circuits the little electrical signals that keep your heart, lungs, and nerve system running.

That disturbance in your heart’s electrical rhythm can lead to heart attack— among the leading causes of death in lightning strike victims. The shock can likewise trigger seizures or make it challenging to breathe. If the electrical existing enters your skull, it can prepare your brain, leading to mental retardation or coma.

A lightning strike can trigger momentary or irreversible paralysis too. In the wake of a strike, some survivors go through character modifications, state of mind swings, and amnesia

Denver’s 5280 publication talked to several lightning strike survivors in 2013; among those survivors, Betsy Smith, was briefly incapacitated after she was struck by lightning on a rock ledge in Wyoming.

“I was persuaded my body had actually ended up being soup inside my clothing,” Smith informed5280 She was stable for 45 minutes after the strike, and her left arm was seriously burned. Among Smith’s fingers was burned so seriously that the flesh passed away, and the finger needed to be cut off.

5 times hotter than the surface area of the sun

Lightning forms as the outcome of particles of rain and ice bumping together inside a cloud.

This can trigger an excess of unfavorable charge to gather at the bottom of the cloud. The charge can be so effective that it fends off electrons (adversely charged particles) on the ground listed below.

The ground subsequently ends up being favorably charged, and an extreme destination develops in between the unfavorable cloud and the favorable ground. This destination lures the adversely charged electrons at the bottom of the cloud to branch towards the Earth’s surface area. That unfavorable stream is fulfilled by a stream of positively-charged particles flying skyward.

Lightning strikes Fatih Mosque over the Istanbul horizon throughout a thunderstorm on May 7, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

When that occurs, the opposing streams of particles exchange energy, which manifests as the brilliant lightning strikes we see.

Lightning strikes can be approximately 5 miles long from end to end, and they can warm the surrounding air to a temperature level of almost 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,700 degrees Celsius)– around 5 times hotter than the surface area of the sun.

How to prevent lightning strikes

According to John Jensenius, a lightning-safety professional with NOAA, the very best method to remain safe throughout a thunderstorm is to shelter inside a cars and truck or enclosed structure. If that’s not an alternative, you must discover another method to prevent getting captured exposed, Jensenius formerly informed Service Expert

Avoid standing under trees, and keep away from damp and metal items, Jensenius included. Even damp sand can efficiently carry out the electrical existing from a lightning strike.

Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Jensenius included that it is essential to wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder prior to leaving your location of shelter, considering that ground strikes can take place even when the skies have actually cleared and the center of a thunderstorm is 10 miles (16 kilometers) away