Lightning kills 18 kids at primary school
"A LIGHTNING strike at a primary school in western Uganda has killed 18 students and injured 50. Lightning hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225km northwest of Kampala, killing 15 girls and three boys yesterday, police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said. "The injured were taken to hospital nearby and 15 of those who were seriously injured were transferred to Mulago hospital," in Kampala, Nabakooba said. Local media reported that a further 21 pupils were burned after lightning struck at a second school in Zombo district, about 380km north of Kampala. Police could not confirm the incident. Nabakooba could not provide an exact figure for the total number killed by lightning in recent weeks, but local newspaper The Daily Monitor reported a total of 28 killed and scores injured in the past week, including Tuesday's incidents. Uganda is experiencing unseasonably heavy rainstorms and concern about the number of recent lightning strikes has prompted lawmakers to demand an official explanation from government."
In this article, though it is stated that lightning strikes are common in that locality, the fact that so many had occurred at once shook the town leaders:
"The lightning hit the victims in a classroom at a school in Kiryandongo, 130 miles north of Kampala, police said. Another 38 children were admitted to hospital. The East African country has suffered a wave of fatal lightning strikes in recent weeks during unseasonably heavy rains. The deaths were debated in parliament on Monday, with MPs calling on the government to come up with strategy to deal with what several termed “a crisis”. "I don’t know which minister is in charge of the lightning but let the government come up with a statement to inform the country on what is going on and how we can manage it,” Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said. Local meteorologists have criticized the government for not providing enough lightning conductors for buildings in storm hotspots. “The 19 were killed in single lightning strike on Monday,” a police spokesman said. “They were ready to leave school but there was a heavy downpour and so they sheltered in the classroom and then, all of a sudden, it struck."
In early June, a lightning strike at Camp Shelby in Mississippi sent 77 cadets to the hospital. Lightning has been busy lately. Similar lightning strikes have occurred in Northern Nigeria, also. "15 killed by Nigeria lightning"
I was heartbroken to read that it was children who were killed, and shocked to see that they had been inside a structure. However, I was not surprised to see the reaction of man, that a 'natural' event had to be managed or even could be managed.
In The Language of God series, I wrote about lightning. You can read that essay here, with scriptures and my interpretation of what lightning strikes may mean. Meanwhile, we can also pray for the families of the little ones taken from earth. I can't imagine the horror and sorrow of the families who learned that eighteen of their children had been killed. In the US, 18 children comprise an entire classroom. Imagine what the headlines would be if a bus filled with children slid off a bridge, killing the kids on board! Or if there had been a fire, or a shooting, or similar tragedy where so many children had lost their loves! It is terrible.
But worse is the response of man. To make statements that lightning must be managed, to refer to man's strength instead of Jesus' mercy, is a worse state of mind and heart. We know that soon, after the rapture, the 'natural' events will not be able to be explained. Until then, brothers and sisters, remain strong and sure of His calling and election in your life, and witness through that strength. Peace and calm He gave to us and in addition, He gave us the Spirit, salvation, and an eternal blessing to dwell with Him. I look to and through and beyond the events like the Ugandan lightning strike, to His hands who holds the lightning bolts, and count my blessing He calls us friend.