Lightning Caused Multiple Deaths: Lethality of Taking Shelter in Unprotected Buildings

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Gomes C.
Izadi M.
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
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Lightning affects human beings and animals through severalmechanisms of which direct strikes are referred as the most lethal. However, our investigations show that a clear majority of multiple lightning deaths by a single ground flash has been occurred while the victims were inside structures, where injury due to direct strikes is impossible. This study analyses the electric field distribution of a lightning struck unprotected building, during the return stroke current phase. The outcomes depict that the field enhancement at the head level of the occupants at various locations inside the structure is large enough to attract arcing from either the roof or the walls. The field enhancement strongly depends on the type of lightning current and the materials of the roofing and Walls. For the simulation of lightning current waveforms and distribution of electrical fields and potentials, MatLab and ANSYS Maxwell software has been used. Consequently, the paper emphasizes the need for implementing low-cost protection schemes in under-privileged societies in regions of high lightning density to minimize the casualties. � 2019 IEEE.
Costs; Lightning; Lightning protection; MATLAB; Roofs; Electric field distributions; Human safety; injuries; Lightning currents; Low costs; Return stroke current; Simulation of lightnings; under-privileged; Walls (structural partitions)