Lightning killed a soldier on patrol and a civilian in two separate incidents and locations in Musanze District on Friday, Police confirmed. Two other people were injured in Kinigi and Musanze sectors.
The deceased were identified as Wellars Rwamihigo, a worker at INES, an institution of higher learning, and Sgt. Moses Jambo, a soldier who was on patrol in Kinigi.
“It happened on Friday evening—a gardener at INES was struck when he was busy working in the garden while the soldier was killed while on duty,” Superintendent of Police Christopher Semuhungu, the Northern Province Police spokesman told The New Times.
Those injured were rushed to hospital, but were discharged after treatment.
Semuhungu urged vigilance during the rainy season that often comes with lightning. He said that people should remain in-doors when it is raining; and avoid seeking shelter under trees.
He added that people should also avoid holding electronic equipment such us telephones, radios and TV sets to minimize risk of lightning strikes.
At least 19 people were killed by lightning while another 43 sustained injuries between January and April this year alone, according to figures from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs. Last year, lightning killed 28 people and injured another 53 country-wide.
Precautionary measures developed by the ministry advises people to keeping off bicycles and motorcycles during rain, avoid wet grounds, refraining from standing near open windows as well as avoid handling electrical equipment.
Residents should also stay away from tall trees, fences, telephone masts, and power lines when it is raining.