As reported by this daily on Thursday, deaths from lightning in Bangladesh have increased significantly in recent years. Experts are of the opinion that if temperature rises by 1 degree, risk of lightning increases by 12 percent. In recent years, lightning in the country has increased by 15 percent. However, it is disconcerting to note that although various initiatives have been taken in different countries to prevent deaths from lightning, in Bangladesh such initiatives are almost non-existence.
The incidents of lightning strikes in the country are increasing due to rising temperature and climate variability caused by global warming. On an average, about 300 to 400 people die in lightning strikes every year. Reportedly, more than 2,000 people were killed in lightning incidents in the country over the past seven years. It is apprehended that the exact number of casualties from lightning could be much higher as many cases go unreported.
Awareness building at individual and community
levels has become important in order to bring down
the number of deaths and injuries from lightning
Meteorological department claimed that thunderbolt warnings are issued regularly, but people are not aware of those alerts.
We cannot resist thunderstorms but minimise our losses by creating awareness. Awareness building at individual and community levels has become important in order to bring down the number of deaths and injuries from lightning. We should not get panicked. Rather we should check the weather forecast before going outdoor. We should stay away from tall trees and take shelter under concrete ceiling during thunderbolts. As a long-term initiative, tree plantation can help develop a natural canopy against storms and thunderbolts.
The government should take necessary steps to make people aware of lightning and strengthen warning systems and network to reach the warning messages to people for bringing down the casualty rate caused by thunderbolt strikes.
The Disaster Management Ministry and the Meteorological Department should carry out a vigorous campaign to make people aware of lightning preparedness. We cannot stop lighting strikes, but we can save lives by informing people what they should do during lighting.