Lightning must not be taken lightly

Published : 15 Mar 2024 10:34 PM

With the summer approaching closer, the country is bracing for powerful storms and deadly lightning. Lightning strike emerges as one of the deadliest natural calamities as it claims many lives in our country every year. 

About 70 percent of the total lightning strikes usually occur in the country between April and June. Though our country experiences lightning strikes mainly during pre-monsoon period (April-May), climate change is contributing to its intensity.

Every year many people die in lightning strike. Lack awareness about lightning is mainly blamed for the loss of lives due to lightening. People hardly take any precautionary measures to protect themselves from lightning strike. So, all concerned and local institutions should be instructed to be alert and travellers to be cautious right now. 

All should stay away from vulnerable infrastructure, electricity poles, croplands, waterbodies, and rivers during strong winds and heavy rains to avoid any untoward incident. According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, at least 216 people die every year on average in lightning strikes -- more than from floods, cyclones and other natural calamities.

The entire Dhaka and Sylhet divisions, Bogura, Pabna, Sirajganj, Cumilla and Jashore are prone to lighting strikes, and it mainly hit the areas in the afternoon, evening and morning. The incidents of lightning strikes in the country are gradually increasing due to rising temperature and climate variability caused by global warming, taking heavy toll on human lives in recent years, experts say.

Rising temperature, erratic rainfall and abnormal behaviour of weather are contributing to the recurrence of thunderbolt. As per the record, the lightning frequency has been increasing since 1981 due to climate variability and increase in temperature. 

About 70 percent of the total lightning strikes 

usually occur between

 April and June

Temperature in the country may mark a rise this year which is likely to be the main cause for increased incidents of lighting. We cannot resist thunderstorms, but can minimise losses by creating awareness. 

So, awareness programmes should be launched in every corner of the country alongside all educational institutions. All should move with caution during the pre-monsoon period (April-May).

The government should include the subject of thunderstorm awareness in textbooks at every educational institution. 

In this regard, all must stay away from tall trees, electric pillars and towers and should not to touch metals and corrugated iron and take shelter under a concrete ceiling during thunderbolts. Making people aware of lightning and strengthening warning systems and network to reach the warning messages to people for bringing down the casualty rate caused by lightining strikes.

The Disaster Management Ministry and the Meteorological Department should carry out vigorous campaign to make people aware of lightning preparedness. We cannot stop the lighting strikes, but we can save lives by creating awareness among people. 

We cannot prevent natural disasters but we can stand by each other after any disasters. Our country face natural calamities like cyclones, drought, storm surge and flooding. The government should always remain prepared to tackle any disaster in the country and stands by the people to reduce the impact of any natural calamity.