Thursday, 25 March 2010

Lightning Decision

Here's a topical question I heard in my local pub quiz in Kent recently: Are more people killed and injured each year by a) earthquakes b) hurricanes or c) lightning? The answer turned out to be lightning, apparently.

Somehow that doesn't seem right. However, it's on the Met Office website here:

100,000 injuries and 10,000 deaths a year. Yet it's estimated that 600,000 people have been killed in earthquakes (or tsunamis caused by earthquakes) in the past decade, with an unknown number of injuries. And floods, hurricanes and storms accounted for something like 2.5m-4m in the 20th century.

Personally I wouldn't have asked the question, as the answer relies too heavily on estimates, time frame, and a whole load of other variables for anyone to be able to say for sure that it's a fact.

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