THUNDERSTORM

READ CAREFULLY AND MEMORISE THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE.  BE INFORMED ON YOUR CAMINHO. IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!

There is no good way to approach a thunderstorm. The matter is so serious that is serves as basis to the film "The Way", about the Caminho of Santiago. The best way to deal with phenomena that you cannot control is to previously prepare yourself to face them. 

 

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

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Try to find out previously the weather forecast for the time period in which you'll be walking. Organize your day according to the thunderstorm warnings. You should have a safety margin, because climate models are not an exact science. There are inumerous websites and weather applications. You just need to search on the Internet the word "weather".

Rawpixel - Carol M Highsmith

 THUNDERSTORM = STOP 

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DURANTE A PEREGRINAÇÃO

 

If, during the walk, you detect: lightnings (light), thunders (sound) or bolts (electric discharge), you should iniciate the "30|30 Rule". If the difference between the lightning and the thunder is less than 30 seconds, the thunderstorm is less than  10 kilometers from your localtion. You should immediately seek shelter inside a house (you should stay away from the windows) or inside a car with the windows closed. In case that it is not possible to find shelter in a house or a car, you must take on the safety positions, as explained below. Before you get back to the Caminho, you should wait 30 minutes after the last lightning, 30|30.

 

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SAFETY AND EMERGENCY POSITIONS 

 

There are two recommended emergency positions when there is no possibility of finding shelter. The position of "open field" is the position for when you are surrounded by "higher elements" and you don't have a safe way of leaving the place quickly.  

 
 

The electric discharge always seeks the shortest way between two points to get to the ground. If the electric discharge goes through your body, it can injure you or kill you. By lying down you decrease the "potencial difference" and the distance that the electric discharge has to go through in your body to reach the ground.
You should take into account that, though it is a rare phenomenon, lightning bolts can also leave from the ground to the clouds, as you can see in this video (+info).

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Em caso de trovoada evita seres
o ponto mais alto à tua volta.

In the event of a thunderstorm, avoid being the highest point around you.

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FACTORS THAT MAY ATTRACT A LIGHTNING BOLT

The "potencial difference" is a factor that may attract more than one Iightning bolt. If you imagine a pilgrim walking stick, in the furthest part from the ground we have a charge and in the part in contact with the ground, we have an opposite charge. The bigger the difference (height) between these two points, the bigger the "potencial difference" will be. It is for that reason that the "Lightning rods" are usually in the highest part of the buildings.

 

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THE WARNING SIGNS

Some signs can tell you that a lightning bolt is about to strike. The photograph was captured moments before the victim in the photograph was struck by a lightning bolt. 
 

Picture and piece of news source; https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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WHAT IF IT HAPPENS?

Thanks to technology, you can see in this section what happens when a lightning bolt strikes near you: the damage, the reactions, the signs before a thunderstorm, its characteristics... without being in mortal danger.

IMPORTANT FACT: Several sucessive lightning bolts may strike in the same spot. If it happens, you should try to leave that spot as quickly as possible.

When a lightning bolt strikes in your proximity, it is as if a bomb exploded.  Even if you aren't struck by the lightning bolt, you can suffer several consequences: burns, getting tossed,  temporary blindness and deafness, indirect electric shock through the ground, loss of consciousness, fire... 

The thunderstorm may manifest itself in weird ways: from the clouds to the grounds, from the ground to the clouds, between clouds... The video below is worth watching, in order to know the multiple ways a thunderstorm can reveal itself.

 

WHAT IF YOU GET STRUCK?

Being struck by a lightning bolt doesn't imply dying. How to proceed?

  1. Assess the vital signs (first aid)

  2. If it is necessary, start Basic Life Support.

  3. Try to recover the consciousness of the victim.

  4. If you can, try to leave the spot, without the backpack, to avoid being struck by repetitions of the lightning bolt in the same place.

  5. If there are no higher elements around you, you should remain lying down, until the thunderstorm passes.

  6. As soon as the thunderstorm passes, call 112 (EU emergency number) and start the rescue process

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DOS CAMINHOS DE FÁTIMA

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