Lightning strikes causing more deaths
It is upsetting to note that the number of deaths due to lightning strikes is rising at an alarming rate. Four members of a family in Chandpur and two people in Magura were killed by lightning strikes on Sunday. About half of the lightning deaths in the country are related to agriculture and human fatality rates are consistently high in several north-eastern districts. According to a study 1,424 lightning deaths occurred in Bangladesh from 2013 to 2017, an average of 1.73 deaths occurred per day in the pre-monsoon season and 0.71 during monsoon.
Change in global climate is mainly responsible for the increasing incidents of lightning. Human beings have no control over the nature's whims. Nature's fury cannot be subdued but by taking precautions lives can be saved. A person can protect himself/herself from the strike of thunderbolt if precaution is taken. Why should a person invite death remaining outdoors during the stormy weather? At villages farmers have to work in the crop field and they become victims of lightning. Everybody should be cautious as to what they should do during inclement weather, but the farmers must be made more cautious as they work in the open where there are no long trees.
Palms and other long trees which were more common at villages in the past used to absorb lightning but as they are hard to come by now, there is this increase of deaths by lightning. Experts are of the opinion that the dwindling number of palm trees in the countryside may have led to the spurt in number of deaths due to lightning strikes.
Where palm trees exist, the number of deaths due to lightning strikes is lower than the palm tree less areas. The problem has prompted the government to add lightning strikes to the country's list of official types of disasters, which includes floods, cyclones and storm surges, earthquakes, drought and riverbank erosion, among others. As a result, the government now compensates lightning strike victims or their families.
As part of the government's reforestation campaign, launched in 2016, a good number of palm seeds were planted in different districts of the country. What is needed now is massive tree plantation for protecting environment. The issue of deaths by lightning strikes warrants serious attention.