Lightning killed 59 people in three days in Bangladesh, said the head of the disaster management department.
“We had never experienced such a large number of deaths due to lightning before,” he told AFP Reaz Ahmed, head of the disaster management department. Most victims are stricken peasants while working in their rice fields.
Lightning is a common occurrence during tropical storms in Bangladesh before and during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September.
According to the disaster management department, since 2011, on average of 200 deaths each year are attributed to lightning.
The rising number of victims of lightning is explained by the meteorologist Shah Alam saying that deforestation plays a big part, particularly by cutting the tallest trees such as palms which have a lightning rod effect by attracting lightning.
According to this expert, former head of the Bangladesh Meteorological Agency, the farmers and farm workers are also increasingly equipped with metal objects such as mobile phones. They are also more likely to work regardless of the time when traditionally, farmers waiting out for storms.