• A World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) committee of experts said two new world records for the longest reported distance and the longest reported duration for a single lightning flash were set in Brazil and Argentina.
• A single Lightning flash stretched more than 700 kilometres across Brazil on October 31 last year has created a new world record for the longest reported distance of lightning. This was equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington in the US, or between London and Basel in Switzerland.
• A lightning flash that developed continuously over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019 lasted a whopping 16.73 seconds creating new world record for the longest reported duration of lightning.
• The new records for extreme lightning bursts, or ‘megaflashes’, during 2019, are more than double the size and duration of the previous record flashes.
• The new record-breaking strikes were released on the occasion of International Lightning Safety Day on June 28.
• The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reiterated the dangers of lightning.
• The official advice from the agency is to follow the 30-30 rule: if the time between flash and thunder is less than 30 seconds, stay inside, and wait 30 minutes after the last observed flash, to resume outdoor activities.
Mains Paper 3: Disaster Management
Prelims level: Megaflash lightning
Mains level: Read the newsfeed