At least 30 people died from lightning strikes across Bangladesh since Friday
At least seven people were killed by lightning strikes in three districts when thunderstorms ravaged several parts of Bangladesh on Monday, pushing the death toll to at least 30 in just four days across the country.
Earlier on Sunday, eight more died in Chittagong, Feni, and Tangail due to lightning strikes while seven people died on Saturday in Dhaka, Shariatpur and Madaripur. Eight people died on Friday.
In Rajshahi, four people, including two children, were killed and two others, also children, were injured after they were struck by thunderbolts.
The incident occurred in the district’s Yousufpur union at around 4pm on Monday.
The deceased, Mukta Begum, 35, Aleya Khatun Babli, 60, Parash, 6, and Sohan, 7, were picking mangoes during a thunderstorm.
Two injured children, a six-year-old and a 15-year-old, are now undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, confirmed Golam Ruhul Quddus, spokesperson and additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP).
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In Dinajpur, two sisters were killed in lightning strikes in Madhabpara union under Hakimpur upazila.
The deceased were identified as Mohashina, 12, and Mobarshera, 7.
They were the daughters of Lohachara village’s Md Mafiz Uddin.
According to the locals, a storm started at around 4pm on Monday. At the time the sisters were outside picking mangoes near their homestead.
When lightning struck, the two died on the spot, they added.
Khatta Madhabpara Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Maklesur Rahman confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
In Naogaon, a teenage boy was killed in a lightning strike.
The incident occurred at the Sahabajpur village under the district’s Sapahar upazila around 4:30pm on Monday.
The deceased, Hossain Ali, 14, was climbing a tree to pick berries when lightning struck.
Sapahar police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Md Tarequr Rahman Sarkar, said: “Ali was climbing a blackberry tree on the side of the road near his house when suddenly lightning struck, and he fell from the tree to the ground.
“When the villagers rushed him to the Sapahar Upazila Health Complex, in an unconscious state, the on-duty doctor declared him dead.”
Lightning strikes are a common phenomenon during the monsoon season in Bangladesh. They generally kill several hundred people – mostly farmers working out in the open – every year.
There is a correlation between thunderbolts and temperature, according to a study published in 2017.
The study says that around 5,000-6,000 metres above the level of Bangladesh’s atmosphere, the temperature remains humid and warm from late April till the third week of May every year, leading to an increasing number of lightning strikes.