22-year-old woman dies after being struck by lightning

Katherine Diaz. Photo: CNN
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KATHERINE DIAZ/INSTAGRAM, Via Okmagazine

This is a sad incident that happened on Friday when a young woman was killed by lightning while training.

Katherine Diaz, 22, was in the water at El Tunco beach in southwest El Salvador training for the World Surf Games, a qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics, when she was struck by lightning, the country’s surfing federation (FESASURF) said.

“It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz”, the International Surfing Association wrote in a Facebook post.

“Katherine came over to hug her [friend], as soon as she finished hugging her, the noise was heard,” Diaz’s uncle, Beto Diaz, who says he was in the water with her, told a newspaper in El Salvador.

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“She, the friend, was thrown by the force of the lightning strike too, the board threw me back. Katherine died instantly.”

The International Surfing Association (ISA) 2021 Surf City El Salvador World Surfing Games are set to be held from May 29 to June 6 at the La Bocana and El Sunzal beaches and will act as the final qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020, where surfing will be making its debut Olympic appearance.

“Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport,” the ISA said of the surfer, whose brother, Jose Diaz, is the president of FESASURF.

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KATHERINE DIAZ (katherinecook7) Instagram

“She excelled at the international competition level, representing her country with pride at both the ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Katherine’s family, the surfers of El Salvador, and to all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched.”