Deadly Lightning in Africa Kills Three

  • Jan 05, 2017

Latest Tragedy Regarding Lightning in Africa


One of the last tragedies concerning lightning in Africa in 2016 occured on 29 December. Stormy weather sent thousands of lightning strikes down on Zimbabwe during the afternoon and early evening hours on Thursday. A mother and her two sons lost their lives when their hut in Mishandike Settlement in southeastern Zimbabwe was struck. The cloud-to-ground strike hit their hut and set it ablaze just as they returned from their daily chores around 1:00 pm local time. The husband and father of the victims was still out completing the chores in the rain when the incident occurred. The mother and her 10-year old and 6-year old sons died in their hut as a result of the flames.

Storm Report

Stormy conditions moved southward into Zimbabwe during the early afternoon hours of 29. The storms moving quickly, carrying with them 14,329 lightning strikes. Our Total Lightning Network detected the in-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes as they made their way across northeastern Zimbabwe.

The strike that killed 3 members of the family in the incident on the 29th was a strike on the very outskirts of the approaching thunderstorm system.

2016 Lightning in Africa


Lightning kills approximately 24,000 people per year and most of them live in poor and least-developed countries. Unfortunately, this incident was not the first lightning fatality in Africa in 2016. 2016 was a particularly deadly year for African lightning. Strong thunderstorms containing large totals of lightning damaged property and killed people in African countries like Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Uganda.

In Burkina Faso, recent storms zapped power and interrupted a CAN 2017 qualifying match in Ouagadougou.

Storms and flooding in Mozambique in October 2016 killed 42 and destroyed over 400 homes throughout the country.

Earlier in the year, Uganda lost a policeman to a deadly lightning strike.

To read about all covered incident in Africa, please click here.