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Author Topic: Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?  (Read 6679 times)

Offline Cherie

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« on: 28/02/2011 18:30:03 »
Cherie asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Is lightening classified as a natural disaster?  On researching this, some sites say no while others say yes.  I believe that it is a natural disaster albeit underestimated - they can cause bush fires and death to humans and animals. What do you say?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 28/02/2011 18:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline rosy

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« Reply #1 on: 28/02/2011 19:25:07 »
I would have thought that the "natural disaster" would be the bushfire caused by the lightening, rather than the lightening itself, much as a rainstorm is not of itself a natural disaster, but may cause a flood, which would be.

Of course, insurance companies may have their own, legal and technical definitions (which I would expect to see vary from policy to policy).

As posed, this is a rather vague question... a more useful answer might be obtained if a bit more information were given as to why the definition of "a natural disaster" is of interest to you?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« Reply #2 on: 01/03/2011 12:06:00 »
I would agree...
You have to consider cause and effect.

Lightning may cause a natural disaster...
But, the disaster itself is the secondary damages caused by the lightening strike.

One must then evaluate the scope of the consequences to determine whether a disaster actually occurred.  Lightening can skip from cloud to cloud without any terrestrial effects.

A blackened & split tree might not be considered a disaster.

A burnt house could be a disaster on an individual basis, but not a community basis.

A Forest Fire could consume various homes, and would be a consequence of lightening that would result in a disaster on a larger scale.  But, even still, to be rated as a disaster, it must actually affect something of "value".  Property, eco-system, something.
 

Offline Cherie

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« Reply #3 on: 03/03/2011 13:34:29 »
Thank you for your replies. Considering what has been said, not every rainstorm will become a flood.....not every lightening bolt will become a natural disaster - I agree.
Many years ago my husbands friend was killed by lightening, my husband was nearby when it happened. According to him, there were 2 big black clouds above his friend and another school boy (on the school grounds) and one lightening bolt and after that 2 dead boys! The lightening burnt the one child so that he was unrecognizable and his friends body jolted, snapping his neck!! In this case, lightening would be a natural disaster?
My question wasn't really to define the exact moment that one can define a natural disaster as in our discussions, and perhaps I was too vague. Rather, in listing natural disasters eg. floods, earthquakes, mud slides, volcanoes etc would you include lightening to this list or not?

 

Offline yor_on

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« Reply #4 on: 03/04/2011 04:40:07 »
volcanoes erupting, some types of fires may be (maybe due to lightening), earthquakes, hurricanes, Tsunamis and floods, some types of Epidemics , the Tunguska explosion, all stuff not made by man. To be natural it has to be outside our control, more or less. So yes, that lightning was certainly a natural disaster, although on a lesser scale than Japans Tsunami. But as horrible for those that was there.
 

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Is lighting classified as a natural disaster?
« Reply #4 on: 03/04/2011 04:40:07 »

 

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