If you have metal plumbing then avoid showering during rains

A stunning view of lightning during a thunderstorm before heavy rain late at night in Rawalpindi on June 15, 2023. — Online

With summer in the air and rains forecast by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), it’s better to stay away from using water at home during a thunderstorm.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s better if people stay away from water in their homes and avoid taking a shower, washing in the tub or even washing dishes.

The US CDC believes since lightning can travel through plumbing, “it is best to avoid all water during a thunderstorm. Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash your hands.”

“The risk of lightning traveling through plumbing might be less with plastic pipes than with metal pipes,” the CDC added. “However, it is best to avoid any contact with plumbing and running water during a lightning storm to reduce your risk of being struck.”

That’s not the only danger when you’re inside. Stay off porches and balconies, don’t go near windows and doors, and do “NOT lie down on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls,” the agency said.

The CDC has also urged people not to use anything connected to an electrical outlet, such as computers or other electronic equipment.

“Stay off corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe … if they are not connected to an outlet through a charger.”

As per Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman rains may hit the country in the next 24 hours.

On Sunday, she had urged the public and authorities concerned including non-government organisations (NGOs) to remain alert as heavy rains coupled with thundershowers are expected to hit the country in the next 24-48 hours.

“Forecast of rain impacts in the 24-48 hours in Pakistan. The highest amount of rainfall will be in Punjab’s cities like Lahore, Narowal, Sialkot. Other provinces have been alerted too for heavy to moderate rain,” the climate minister wrote on her official Twitter handle.

She said urban flooding alerts had been issued for cities and municipal areas with risks of landslides. “Coordinated preparedness and proactive responses save lives, so all response teams, both public and NGOs in the affected areas need to stay vigilant, ready,” she added.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), there is a possibility of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in north/northeastern Punjab including Lahore, Sialkot and Narowal with high or very high river flows in Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and its associated Nullahs — Bhimber, Aik, Deg, Palkhu and Basanter — are expected.

“Above condition may cause urban flooding in municipal areas and landsliding in hilly regions,” the NDMA added.

Meanwhile, Karachi, Tharparkar, Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Badin, and Shaheed Benazirabad are likely to experience thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

“Thunderstorms & rainfall expected in Northeastern Balochistan (Sibbi, Zhob, Kohlu, Qila Saifullah, Khuzdar, Barkhan, Loralai, Dera Bugti & Lasbela) and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Bannu, DI Khan, Malam Jabba, Balakot,” it added.