Mexico records the highest number of lightning deaths than any other country, according to the World Health Organization, and it’s a record it appears to be in no danger of losing.
Two young girls were killed Friday in the Quintana Roo tourist destination Playa del Carmen, and a third narrowly escaped death.
Three 13-year-old girls were swimming in front of the Playacar resort area when a lightning bolt struck about 5:00pm, killing one instantly. A second died shortly after but the third survived.
All three were Playa del Carmen residents, spending time on the beach with their families. According to one report, it was raining at the time but otherwise calm while the three girls played at the water’s edge.
Suddenly there was a large bang following which all three girls were seen floating in the water.
The father of the surviving child said later his daughter was in stable condition and appeared to be recovering well. She suffered nervous shock after the lightning strike but remained conscious throughout.
“I’ve never heard of anything like it,” he said of the incident, saying “the lightning bolt suddenly came out of nowhere . . . .”
More people die from lightning in Mexico than any other natural, atmospheric phenomenon, according to the Center for Atmospheric Studies at the National Autonomous University, which has found that an average 230 people died each year from lightning strikes between 1979 and 2011.
The greater number of those deaths is recorded in areas with high poverty levels, such as the State of México, Michoacán and Oaxaca, a study by the American Meteorological Society found.
Eight people died from lightning strikes last month in Guanajuato.