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Apr 23, 2019

Farmer Struck Dead by Lightning Bolt in Armenia

Carlos Alvarado

A farmer in Armenia lost his life when he was struck by lightning last Friday. Thirty-nine-year-old Carlos Alvarado was tending to some crops along with his brother when a storm suddenly appeared. Carlos and his brother ran for cover under some cohune palms, but the bolt of lightning struck and killed him almost immediately. Reporter Andrea Polanco was in Armenia village today and tells us more about the freak incident as recounted by Carlos Alvardo’s brother.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Thirty-nine-year-old Carlos Alvarado was killed under this cohune tree on his family’s farm around four thirty on Friday afternoon in Armenia village. Cristino Alvarado says that he and his brother Carlos were spraying the watermelons when the weather suddenly changed to rain and strong winds, along with thunder and lightning.


Cristino Alvarado, Brother of Deceased [Translated]

“We were only working for about half an hour and the rain came down so we couldn’t do what were going to do. So we went under the cohune tree. My brother and I were there sheltering from the rain when the winds picked up strong and both of us couldn’t shelter under the tree, so I move to another cohune palm tree.”


Alvarado says that he left his brother standing under the tree and he moved to shelter under another tree nearby. But by the time he looked back his brother was on the ground. When he ran to help, his brother said a few words and then he died. Cristino Alvarado believes that he would’ve also been killed if he had stayed under the tree with his brother.


Cristino Alvarado

Cristino Alvarado [Translated]

“Only about a minute had passed since I moved when the accident happened. When I felt a loud noise, I decided to turn back to see where he was and I saw that he was already thrown to the ground. I went to lift him and unfortunately he only told me, “I am going to die, brother.” I couldn’t do anything more and he didn’t say anything else. It was so terrible for me.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you think that if you hadn’t moved you would have also been killed?”


Cristino Alvarado [Translated]

“I would have died, surely. That I know. I would have surely been killed because it was just about a minute and it was a big lightning bolt.”


Carlos Alvarado was holding an umbrella in his hand when he was struck by lightning. The cell phone in his pocket was also completely destroyed by the lightning bolt. Cristino Alvarado says that they have always weathered storms under the trees on the farm.


Cristino Alvarado [Translated]

“We have experienced many storms – over many years – since we have always worked together. So, we would always do the same thing which is to take shelter under a cohune tree to avoid the rain. We have done it on so many occasions so that is why we never expected this.”


But what the Alvarados don’t know is that standing under a tree is one of the most dangerous places you can be during a lightning storm. If you are caught in a thunderstorm, do not stay in the open. You are advised to take shelter in a car or enclosed building. But if you can’t find shelter – and you are in a forest, you are advised to avoid tall or isolated trees and to stand far away from any tree. You must also avoid wet and metal objects because water and metal easily conduct electrical current between sources – one of which could be you. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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