The summer is the time for lightning season, for there is more atmospheric instability and moisture than in the winter. Lightning has been striking Bangladesh for four days, killing 34 on Thursday May 14th, 21 on Friday, seven on Saturday and three on Sunday, CNN states. This weather surprisingly has not been a surprise as lightning killed 274 people last year.
The geographic features of Bangladesh contribute largely to the excessive lightning. Bangladesh, located in South Asia, is a jungle coastline that is highly fertile and susceptible to heavy rainfall, extreme humidity, and high temperatures.
As it lightning season in Bangladesh, and the weather is humid and hot, there may be many more lightning storms to come, and this can be dangerous to many people, especially construction workers, farmers, and other folks who work out in the open.
These severe lightning storms have affected the country economically and socially. Finding a safe place during a storm is harder in Bangladesh, as the fields are bare from deforestation or poorly constructed homes and shelters. Many people in Bangladesh either do not know or cannot escape the extreme dangers of lightning. As Bangladesh has an agricultural economy, their work is done mostly outdoors.
Scientists are researching more about how a human reacts to lightning to be more educated about the danger. “But that basic guidelines [of lightning safety] aren’t as well known in many developing countries, which consistently see hundreds or even thousands of deaths and injuries per year from lightning strikes.” National Geographic states. Some other countries affected by this weather are India, Malaysia, and South Africa.
Melissa Winters, a freshmen at Academy of the Canyons, gives her opinion on severe weather in other countries: “I am very surprised to hear about the recent deaths that occurred in Bangladesh because turbulent weather is uncommon in California. I think a way many people in theses countries can avoid getting killed is to be more educated about the lightning storms. That way, the people will know how to stay safe in the worst conditions.”
The National Weather Service from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gives tips on how to stay safe during a lightning storm. First, avoid going outside during a storm, for it is always dangerous to stay outside during bad weather. Another tip is to stay in your shelter 30 minutes after the last thunder noise for safety. If you are indoors, then avoid using any electrical equipment and avoid plumbing. If you are outdoors and are not near any indoor shelter, immediately get away from any hills and elevated ground and never stay under an isolated tree. Avoiding any bodies of water is a wise choice.
Following these tips during a thunderstorm will help you stay safe. It is better to be safe and alive than it is to be injured and killed, regardless of the odds of lightning striking you.