Two people were killed and three others suffered critical burns after lightning struck them in the Muka Kuning residential area in Sungai Beduk district, Batam, Riau Islands, on Friday afternoon.
Andi Kuswadi, Heni P and three other people were constructing a pond when rain started to fall, an eyewitness named Bambang said on Saturday.
“Andi and Heni then took some metal sheeting and used it to cover their heads. Suddenly lightning struck and I heard them screaming.” Bambang said.
All five victims were rushed to Embung Fatimah Regional Hospital in Batam, where Andi and Heni were pronounced dead on arrival. The three survivors, Hendro, Aseri and Dawan, are in intensive care.
Batam Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) head Philip Mustamu said that Batam and its surrounding areas was currently experiencing high intensity rain and lightning that would last until January.
“If it rains, please avoid being out in the open and don't take shelter under a tree,” he said. (han/lfr)