Most dangerous type of lightning strikes the sea near Scheveningen

A huge bang was heard off the coast of Scheveningen around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. According to Weather Radar, it was caused by “the most dangerous kind of lightning in the world.”

An analysis shows that the lightning had an extremely high amperage: 267,000. That is close to the maximum of 300,000 amps for this type of lightning and ten times as much as a normal lightning strike. By way of comparison: from a socket comes about 230 volts with a maximum of 16 amps.

What characterizes these discharges is the enormous bang they accompany. "If it hits really close, it can feel like a bomb has hit somewhere. Many people in The Hague and surroundings will have heard the blow.

A thundercloud is negatively charged at the bottom and positive at the top. If the voltage difference of a cloud becomes large enough, current will start to flow: lightning. In 90 to 95 percent of the cases, this happens via a so-called negative discharge, according to Weather Radar.

5 to 10 percent of lightning strikes are “positive lightning,” the most dangerous kind. These do not strike under the storm, but next to the storm. The top of the thunderstorm is positively charged and the earth next to the thunderstorm negative. A current can also start to flow between them, and if this happens, it is a so-called positive lightning.

In that case, the distance that lightning has to travel through the air is many times greater, so that more energy is needed. The same happened with the impact in the sea just before Scheveningen on Saturday afternoon: the real shower was still hanging over land, but lightning struck over the sea.

The Scheveningen harbor lighthouse was affected by the strike but soon resumed operation on the emergency generator.


At least 16 people were killed by lightning in the Indian city of Jaipur on Sunday. A large number of others were seriously injured when lightning struck a watchtower and the walls of the 12th-century Amer Fort, a popular tourist destination.

The victims were mainly young people who were taking selfies in the rain. At the time of the impact, 27 people were in the ancient watchtower. As a result of the lightning strike, part of the watchtower and walls collapsed, burying several of the victims. Some jumped from the watchtower in panic. Indian Prime Minister Modi has expressed his condolences to the victims and has offered the relatives compensation.

About 2,000 Indians are killed by lightning every year. In the Indian state of Rajasthan, where Jaipur is located, nine more people were killed in lightning strikes on Sunday. There are also reports of deaths from lightning strikes from other states.

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 41 people - mainly women and children - have been fatally struck by lightning. The highest number of deaths - 14 - was in the city of Prayagraj. Seven people have died in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Currently, it is monsoon time in parts of India, which lasts from June to September.