A 33-year-old woman on vacation tragically lost her life along with a hammock seller when lightning struck a Mexican beach during a storm. Elvia de Jesus and the local hammock seller, Felix Andres, were seen being killed as they walked along the shores of Maruata Beach when lightning struck them on a Friday afternoon.
Frightening video footage captured the moment a scorching bolt of lightning struck the Michoacán beach, just as beachgoers were in the process of packing up to leave, as ominous dark skies descended. The lightning bolt hit the first person, causing them to collapse on the sand. The lightning strike then traveled through the sand and struck another person trying to run to safety.
Killed in One Strike
According to authorities from the Aquila municipality, de Jesus was walking behind her 34-year-old husband, Roberto de Jesus, after the couple had come out of the water.
While he tried to seek refuge under a canopy to escape the incoming storm, de Jesus was tragically struck by lightning. Andres, who was several feet away to the left, felt the shock less than a second later.
The force of the electric shock startled a beach worker and other swimmers, prompting them to rush to safety.
A video circulating on social media vividly captures this sequence of events.
De Jesus' husband performed CPR and paramedics and navy officers arrived to offer further help before pronouncing her dead.
Following the tragic incident, Félix Andrés was promptly rushed to a local hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Aquila Mayor José Valencia revealed that de Jesus hailed from the central state of Guanajuato. He also mentioned that Félix Andrés, who worked as a hammock seller on the beach, was a resident of the nearby state of Guerrero.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States witnesses around 40 million lightning strikes hitting the ground each year. Despite the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year being less than one in a million, almost 90 percent of those struck manage to survive.
The likelihood of a person being struck by lightning multiple times is exceedingly rare, occurring an average of seven times throughout a lifetime.
Based on data from the National Weather Service for 2023, 11 people have lost their lives due to lightning strikes in the United States.
This includes two separate incidents, one involving boating and another related to swimming. For comparison, there were 19 reported fatalities from lightning strikes in the previous year, a jump from 11 deaths recorded in 2021.
The federal weather agency outlines five ways in which lightning can strike a person. One of these is a direct strike, which typically occurs in open areas and, although not the most common, can be the deadliest.
In a direct strike, a portion of the lightning's current travels along and just over the skin surface (known as flashover), while another portion travels through the body, usually affecting the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems, as explained by the National Weather Service.
Another way a person can be affected is through a side flash, where a lightning bolt strikes an object taller than the victim, such as a tree. Parts of the current are then transmitted from the object to the person.