Sunday, 15 May 2016

Lightning kills more than 50 in Bangladesh

More than 50 people have been killed by lightning in Bangladesh over the last few days, and scores have been injured. In total, over 90 have been killed since March, compared with 51 in the whole of last year.

Most of the victims were working in the fields, though two students were struck as they played football in the capital, Dhaka. March to May is the worst time of the year for thunderstorms, and more are expected over the next week or so.

M. Abdul Mannan, a meteorology department official, said storms had been getting more severe over the last 30 years because of climate change. He blamed this year’s exceptionally hot weather for the increase in deaths, while the Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Forum said the felling of trees was also a factor.

Lightning is also India’s deadliest natural disaster, killing at least 1,500 people every year since 2003. (See my post of 7 September 2015. See also my posts of 1 July 2011 and 4 July 2015.)

*My new book Storm: Nature and Culture (Reaktion Books) is due out in September.

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