Ten rice farmers struck by lightning in Jembrana, 2 dead, 2 still in hospital

Rescuers carry a lightning strike victim through the rice fields on Friday. Photo: Facebook/Swara Negara
Rescuers carry a lightning strike victim through the rice fields on Friday. Photo: Facebook/Swara Negara

A group of rice farmers were struck by lightning while breaking for lunch in a rice hut in the paddy fields of Penyaringan village in Jembrana on Friday.

Sadly, two of them were killed instantaneously while the other 8 were taken to a nearby health center for medical attention. Of the 8 survivors, two—Dewa Kade Wibawa and Sayu Putu Nami—still remain under the care of medics at RSU Negara (the state general hospital in Jembrana).

According to a report by Bali Post, Wibawa is being kept in hospital due to heart-related issues while Nami, who complained of buzzing ears, is still too weak to go home. Even those who had already been discharged from hospital were still reportedly suffering from redness, swelling, and emotional trauma.

When the incident occurred, the farmers had just finished lunch and were sheltering in the rice hut as it had started to rain. Suddenly, a fork of lightning hit the hut, destroying the structure and sending those inside flying.

One woman, 48-year old Diah Raini Purnami, described experiencing a buzzing sound in her ears and uncomfortably hot legs. Instinctively, she dove into a nearby pool of water to cool her legs. Unlike her co-workers, she came out burn-free, though suffered hearing loss.

“I know that it was a long time. I deliberately submerged my whole body. I was terrified that there would be another lightning strike,” she recalled, as quoted by Bali Post.

Though rare, people do occasionally get struck by lightning in Bali, especially during the storms of wet season. In November 2017, a Belgian surfer was hit by lightning whilst riding waves in Canggu. He was rushed to hospital but sadly didn’t survive.

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