At least 177 people were killed by lightning strikes, mostly farmers at different parts of the county while 47 others were wounded in the last four months since March.

This was disclosed by Save the Society and Thunderstorm Awareness Forum (SSTF) after a survey carried out from March to June based on information of both print, electronics and online portals.

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“At least 122 farmers were killed by lightning strikes while doing work in farmlands while 15 people were killed while they went to collect mangoes under trees during Nor’ westerly,” said Rashim Mollah, secretary of the SSTF.

According to the survey, 149 people were male and 28 others were female among the dead.

At least 65 people were killed by lightning strikes in the first week of June, according to the survey.

Among the dead, 18 people were killed in Sirajganj, 14 in Jamalpur, 13 in Netrokona, 16 in Chapainawabganj, and 10 in Chattagram, the report said.

“Due to the nature disruption global climate change is going on for which the world is becoming warmer day by day and the number of thunderstorms is also increasing accordingly,” said president of SSTF Kabirul Bashar.

He said once upon a time there were many big trees like palm trees, betel nut trees, coconut trees beside roads in rural areas which would absorb the lightning but the number of these kinds of trees is being reduced drastically over years for which the number of lightning has increased.

The government needs to take initiative to plant these kinds of trees so that it can protect people in rural areas from the strike of lightning, he said.

The SSTF demanded the government to take initiative to inform people through mobile messages just before the strikes as the Met office can know about the possible strike of lightning 15 minutes ago.

Their other demands include giving more allocation on this side as allocation in this sector is very poor, building shelter centres near open fields, farmlands, haor and baor along with necessary anti lightning equipment so that people can take shelter during lightning.

They also demanded to make all the products of the thunder protection system duty-free, government will have to make it compulsory through a gazette notification to set up anti-lightening equipment in every building.

Among others lightning expert Munir Ahmed, Munir Hossain, research fellow of IDEB Research and Technological Institute engineer, Abdul Alim, chief executive of Research Cell of SSTF, and Emdad Hossain Miah, vice president of SSTF, were present at the press conference.


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