Old lightning damaged Modem and TV card from a PC, along with the phone-point connecting cable. One of many Modems destroyed in the  September 2002 storm that hit Inverness, and had my neighbour's almost new car floating around the Thistle (Mercury) Hotel car park.

At work after the storm, I quipped with another colleague in the IT dept. that I often repair bits for, "I wonder how many requests we'll get along the lines of - my computer's working but it won't access the Internet..." It was double figures before the end of the week.

Most just had minor damage that wasn't visible, and a new Modem card sorted them. The above is unusual, and the owner must have been much closer to the strike, with the surge coming through the phone cable, into the Modem and jumping across to the TV card, and other bits. They required a complete new PC.

These days there's less of an issue, as fewer folk have desktop type PC's, and very few are connected directly to a phone line. The router would more likely suffer, along with any phone equipment.

The lightning strike may be a good distance away, so many people would make the mistake of thinking they'll be okay, "We're not at the top of the hill. So why worry?" If the strike lands anywhere near a phone line, there will be a surge on that line. A surge that will travel along the line, and eventually reach other lines, for example in a junction box. From there it can transfer to nigh all the other lines connected to the box, and spread out much further, and in all directions.

Of course it's not just phone lines that are potential lightning conductors. It can travel even more readily through those thicker electrical power lines.

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