Every year more than 150 people die in Bangladesh due to lightning. The number of casualties has also increased this year. Several people were killed in lightning strikes in Sirajganj, Chittagong, Patuakhali, Manikganj, Feni, Madaripur, Noakhali, Munshiganj, and Shariatpur this month (June 2021). Lightning also harms the environment so it’s a comprehensive problem that needs a full-scale approach.
Reasons behind the recent increase in Lightning Struck in Bangladesh
The Save the Society and Thunderstorm Awareness Forum has blamed the abnormal increase in lightning on global warming and a decline in the number of tall trees.
Every degree increase in temperature increases lightning by 10 percent or more. Recently, the upper and lower parts of the dense black clouds are floating as two pools. As a result, the level of electricity flow between them is increasing and lightning is being created. The recent increase in the density of black clouds has resulted in an increase in the number of bolts of lightning in line with rainfall.
Impacts of Lightning Struck during Thunderstorms
Impact on people
Lightning produces about 10,000 amperes of electricity which releases 50,000 Kelvin heat in milliseconds. That is why if lightning strikes a person directly, his/her body is charred before one sees it coming.
According to the US public health agency CDC, people attacked by lightning suffer from burns, shock, and trauma. In some people, weakness, confusion, skin damage, and even stroke can occur. Lightning also causes heart attacks.
Many people do survive a thunderstorm but none of them can lead a normal life. When lightning enters the brain, its heat and sparks burn the brain cells and render them useless. In the case of survivors, therefore, trauma, mental disorders, personality changes, etc. are observed.
Ways to survive during Lightning Struck
1) April-June is the busiest period for thunderstorms. Lightning phases usually last for up to 45 minutes. It is advisable to stay at home at this time.
2) If one sees thick black clouds, refrain from going out of the house. Wear rubber shoes in case of emergency.
3) If in a paddy field or playground under the open sky, quickly sit with your head on your toes and your fingers on your ears.
4) As soon as possible to take shelter under the building or concrete tent. Tin sheds must be avoided.
5) If inside the car, keep the body as safe as possible from the metal part of the car. Take shelter under a concrete tent in a quick corner with the car.
6) Refrain from using all kinds of electrical appliances including mobiles, laptops, computers, TVs, refrigerators. If you get a hint of lightning, unplug them beforehand.
7) Refrain from using umbrellas with metal handles. In this case, you can use a plastic or wooden-handled umbrella.
8) If you are in the sea or river at this time, stop fishing and stay under the boat tent.
9) Do not touch the metal faucets, metal railings, pipes, etc. of the house.
10) If there are a few people together in a wide area, each move 50 to 100 feet away.
Dangerous places for Lightning Struck
1) Open during thunderstorms such as paddy fields, fields, rivers, and high places are the most dangerous. There is a high probability of lightning in a passenger tent or a large tree in a wide-open space.
2) High trees or electricity poles are more likely to be struck by lightning, so it is not safe to be near trees or poles at this time.
3) If at home, don’t stand near the window.
4) If you are on the road, you must avoid frozen water and electricity.
What to do if someone is injured by lightning
Do not touch the injured person immediately. Otherwise, you too may get shocked. Try to bring back breathing with CPR as first aid. Massage the hands and feet continuously. Take him to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
The best way to stay safe from Lightning Struck
Since lightning is a sudden natural disaster, there is no alternative but to be prepared for it in advance.
1) Identify the more disaster-prone areas and work to increase public awareness there beforehand. As the death rate is high in remote areas, warn farmers, fishermen, and those who work in the open by providing accurate knowledge about lightning.
2) The best way is to plant enough trees that grow taller quickly. In this case, you can plant more palm and coconut trees. Thus, as a result of afforestation, it will be possible to restore the balance in the weather.
3) Make sure to install lightning rods in every building in the city.
4) It is necessary to build high towers privately as well as in Government. The lightning will flow over the tower. The locality will survive.
Steps to take after Lightning Struck
Since the central part of the country is more affected by lightning, the amount of damage to the people of that region is more. All sections of the government and the private sector should come forward to help them. Make sure that the injured receive proper treatment and that the families of the victims receive money and work to support themselves.
Over to you
In order to avoid lightning, one should seek help from God, since in this situation man has nothing to do immediately. Humans are also to blame for this disaster as activities like global warming and declining vegetation are caused by human beings' actions. But improving this situation is not impossible. Everyone needs to work together.