Rains that fell in Huye district have left the mother of Jean de Dieu Habiyaremye in deep grief after learning of her son’s death before joining University.
The 24-year-old Habiyaremye was among the lucky students to have passed national exams and was preparing to go to university.
Habiyaremye had been working for two months as a substitute teacher at GS Cyarwa, where he had also graduated from high school in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry (MPC).
Habiyaremye was struck dead by lightning on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at around 5PM in the evening, according to residents of Agasharu village, in Cyarwa cell, in Tumba sector.
Witnesses say that there was not enough downpour to prevent people from walking and that the victim was working in a bean garden at their house when he was struck.
Usually, rain, thunder, clouds, and lightning come as a package deal which we confusingly call a “thunderstorm.
However, science proves that lightning (dry lightning) can strike someone even in low rains of up to less than 0.10in (0.25in).
Dry lightning and dry thunderstorms can be some of the most dangerous weather events during fire season, according to CAL FIRE and according to the United States Forest Service (USFS), dry lightning is cloud-to-ground lightning without an accompanied rainfall nearby.
Science and real life events have also proved that lightning (‘Rogue’ Lightning) can strike and kill people even without a drop of visible rain in the skies.
For instance, in 2014 a rare lightning strike hit Venice Beach in southern California, killing one and injuring 13. But the strangest thing was that the lightning came out of nowhere, without any rain or any warning.
Weather related circumstances under which Habiyaremye died are not new in Rwanda as at least 11 persons have been reported dead (in March 2023 alone) as a result of changing climate and weather patterns that have come with rains and thunderstorms across Rwanda.
The principal of GS Cyarwa Habiyaremye was a good student who scored high and had been offered a job as a way to make other students have a passion for learning and work hard, to succeed in life.
Residents say that Habiyaremye comes as a ‘robbery’ to the family which is a very poor family and it was so believed that his success in life would help him to support his single mother especially since his father abandoned them to find another spouse.