QCOSTARICA – Three American tourists visiting the Volcan Poas on Saturday got more than they had bargained for: they were struck by lightning during a heavy rainfall.
The lightning strike occurred at 12:30pm near the volcano’s crater, confirmed the Cruz Roja (Red Cross).
The foreigners were given immediate medical attention by Cruz Roja paramedics permanently stationed at the national park, and later taken to the San Rafael de Alajuela hospital, where they remain under medical observation.
“Two of the foreigners were taken to hospital in delicate condition, suffering burns to the chest, abdomen and showing head injuries; only one entered the medical centre on foot,” said Jeison Murrillo, the Poaz Cruz Roja paramedic. Early reports indicated that two of the injured became unconscious with head injuries at the impact of lightning.
The Americans were identified as Jorge Teller (32), Javier Carpio (30) and Shelby Suminsky (28).
The Saturday afternoon downpour included a lightning storm that, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – national weather service – lasted until 3:00pm with a total of 229 lightning strikes recorded across the country.
“The day had the right conditions for strong downpours were submitted. The strongest were reported in San Jose and Heredia. Today (Sunday) Similar conditions are anticipated,”said Rebeca Morera, IMN meteorologist.