Whenever there is a heavy thuderstorm, your parents would tell you to get off the phone or switch off and unplug the TV (usually when your must-see or-die program is on) and any other electrical appliances. Being mystefied as to all the hoo-ha, you did as you were told.
Sometimes they will give you the reason and provide examples such as person killed while talking on the phone, their fax machine/TV/Astro/modem blew and there were blue sparks, etc. This is because, your device is connected straight to the Telekoms line, without any protection such as a good lightning arrestor (so, please buy a good one, and not those RM19.90 and below) which means you are vulnerable. Where you are, also play an important role whether the place gets struck or not.
I, too, had my experience in the late 90's at the Sungai Buloh area where at that time, it was not as developed as you see now. The customer's office was actually behind a sawmill (now replaced by condominiums) and when I stepped in, they told me to look at the phone system which apparently, was not able to get a line to call out. Halfway in, I saw their fax machine which was horribly melted. The customer told me that it was destroyed by lightning. Liftting up the machine, there was burnt marks on the floor and the explosion took a fair chunk of concrete off the floor too. Anyway, while was I looking at the phone system, the thuderstorm has already started.
One thing about this PBX model, the telephone cables were connected via screws. So, I took my screw driver and proceeded to uncrew the tabs for any signs of loose connections. Just as my screwdriver was an inch away, a small blue bolt jumped across from the screws to my screwdriver. At the point in time, I was really glad my screwdriver was heavily insulated with black rubber (Ok, a few days before, someone swiped my test pen)
So, when GOD is testing his Sub-woofer or doing his target practice, us lowly & humble subjects have to take cover. The only protection between you and GOD is the telephone. And when it explodes, so will some parts of your head.