Lightning-strikes-kill-nearly-60-people-in-Bangladesh. DHAKA, Bangladesh, Authorities in Bangladesh reported that 56 people throughout the country were killed by lightning strikes in just two days.
According to Bangladesh News 24 Hours, at least 33 people were killed by lightning across 12 districts on Thursday and 23 more on Friday, including three people in Rajbarhi.
A week-long heatwave was believed to be the cause of the extreme weather which also injured many people, most of whom were working in farmlands or open spaces, according to police.
90 lightning deaths have been recorded in Bangladesh since March, a sharp increase from 51 total deaths in 2015. It has left people panicking.
Tall trees such as palm trees typically act as conductors for lightning strikes, but a decrease of such trees in rural areas has increased the likelihood that people will be struck instead.
M. Abdul Mannan, a meteorology department official in Dhaka, also noted that change in the climate has led to a steady increase in lightning strikes over several decades.
“As we have recorded, the lightning frequency has been increasing gradually since 1981, due to climate variability and increase in temperature,” he said. “The temperature in the country marked a significant rise this year, which is apparently the cause behind the increased incidents of lightning.”
Head of Bangladesh’s disaster management department, Mohammad Riaz Ahmed, expressed concern over the significant increase in lightning deaths, as thunderstorms are expected to continue through the end of the month.
“We will make all efforts, consulting our scientists and other disaster management experts so that lightning strikes cannot be a that big threat in Bangladesh,” he said.
By Daniel Uria