You may think I am exaggerating, but I did survive an ordeal yesterday.
At 5pm, when I was sitting in my cubicle in a windowless office, I heard thunder. Not the low rumbling ones, but the loud, crackling, quick-cover-your-ears type. I thought I even felt the building shook a little at an especially loud one.
It came as no surprise, therefore, that the sky was dark like night when I stepped out of the office. It was also pouring ping-pong ball sized raindrops. At about the same time, I felt a tummyache coming on.
It was crucial that I weighed my options carefully.
Should I leave right there and then or wait it out?
Should I use the office toilet or make a mad dash home? (I live within a stone’s throw from the office, by the way.)
I decided to leave then, and hoped that the wait for the bus would be a short one.
It was very very soon after I stepped into the rain that I regretted my decision. I walked no further than three footsteps before my shoes, clothes and bag got SOAKED through. The ultra lightweight, cute umbrella I got from Isetan ( a Japanese department store) was useless against the elements. My tummyache got worse in the pelting rain and howling wind.
The usual route crowded with staff walking towards the nearest bus stop was deserted, and I was practically the only one braving the rainstorm-thunderstorm at that moment. Then I saw it.
A long, intense, time-stopping lightning flashed across the sky which sent chills down my spine.
I remember reading somewhere that Singapore is the one of the most deadly places in the world as far as lightning is concerned. From the same article, there were some pointers given to avoid being hit by one. (Here’s a list of what Google came back with.)
Take shelter in a house, large building or car
In open areas, seek shelter in a low area such as ravine
In a forest, seek shelter in a low area such as under a thick growth or small trees
In open water, head for the shore
On a golf course (without any nearby shelters), put down your clubs, take off spike shoes and crouch into a ball on the ground
In a group in the open, spread out
Avoid using the telephone, electric appliances and electronic equipment
Do not stand under tall trees or next to a telephone pole
Do not stay in the open or on high ground such as roof tops, hill tops etc…
Stay clear of wire or metal fences, metal pipes and rails
Do not hold metal objects such as umbrellas, golf clubs or bicycles
Do not load and unload explosive or inflammable materials
I was doing none of the “Do’s” and FIVE of the “Don’ts”. I was holding my iPhone in my hand, walking under rows of tall trees, I was in the open and then on an OVERHEAD BRIDGE, with metal barricades along the entire length of the bridge, and I was holding an umbrella.
All the time while I was quickening my footsteps, fighting the tummy pain, keeping my umbrella close to me, the lightnings went on unabated. When I finally reached home about 35 minutes later, I have never felt more grateful to my Creator for preserving my life. By His grace, I survived the thunderstorm!