11 killed by lightning

Emran Hossain | Published at 11:45pm on May 18, 2021

Lightning killed at least 11 people in central and north-eastern Bangladesh in a series of thrashing thunderstorms on Tuesday afternoon.

In the capital Dhaka, the afternoon, especially after 5:00pm, assumed the look of the night with a heavily clouded sky as frequent thunderclaps were heard in the background.

Lightning struck five farmers in the north-eastern district of Netrokona while they were out in the field working and two youths and an eight-year-old child playing in fields to death, reported  New Age correspondent in the district.

‘Local authorities have been ordered to give each family of the deceased Tk 15,000 while each injured would get Tk 3,000,’ said Netrokona’s deputy commissioner Qazi Md Abdur Rahman.

Another farmer and a child were killed in Manikganj under similar circumstances after thunderstorms broke out suddenly in the afternoon, reported New Age correspondent in the district.

New Age correspondent in Sylhet also confirmed the death of a fish farmer in a lighting strike while he was returning after fishing in the afternoon.

The thunderstorm also injured 12 people in the districts at different points in time in incidents of lightning after 3:00pm.

No report of losses or casualty, however, was posted in the capital Dhaka, where a relatively strong shower left many streets drenched for the first time in almost half a year since November last year.

The headquarters of Bangladesh Meteorological Department at Agargaon recorded 41mm rain in three hours starting from 3:00pm while the wind blew up to 50km an hour near the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around the same time.

The BMD records showed that only once in the last six months since November did Dhaka see above 40mm rain in three hours before Tuesday.

On Saturday, Dhaka recorded 44mm rain between 6:00 pm and 9:00pm. 

‘There is also the possibility for a short spell of rain at different places today but rain is likely to reduce from tomorrow,’ said meteorologist Ruhul Quddus.

Met Office said that the reduction in rainfall may be caused by a low pressure likely to form over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday or the day after.

The low pressure may intensify into a cyclonic storm, said BMD.

Hot and dry weather is likely to prevail until the potential landfall of the cyclonic storm, the direction of which could not be determined yet, said BMD.

On Tuesday, the country’s highest temperature of 39°C was recorded at Jashore as a mild to moderate heatwave swept the entire divisions of Khulna and Barishal and also the regions of Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Sitakunda, Rangamati, Cumilla, Chandpur, Feni, Noakhali, Rajshahi and Pabna.

In its daily weather bulletin issued at 6:00 pm, the BMD predicted the heatwave to continue and the day and night temperatures to remain unchanged.