This report seems to indicate that lightning deaths have been increasing in Bangladesh for some years now. We can’t be sure until we get the actual data for some years. The tragedy is again that most of these deaths, if not all, could have been prevented through proper awareness among the people, and possibly construction of some safe shelters.
See here: http://mobile.shanghaidaily.com/world/Lightning-casualties-rising-in-Bangladesh/shdaily.shtml
Three elephants in Deogarh’s Damdami Hill in Prabhasuni Reserve Forest are reported to have been killed by lightning. As per this report three elephants found dead in the forest must have died due to lightning, and not due to Anthrax, as originally suspected. This adds a new dimension to the losses suffered because of lightning in India. Although many instances of death and damage due to lightning have been reported from various parts of the country, this seems to be the first such report of death of wildlife in a forest.
LARC did an analysis of lightning accidents reported in newspapers from different places in the state. The data were taken from the web edition of Mathrubhumi for the period The district-wise data shows that the highest number of accidents happen in Kannur district, followed by Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram (both showing the same number), with Kasargod coming third. Interestingly, although total number of accidents show this behaviour, when we take deaths due to lightning alone, Kottayam comes first with 5 deaths during this period, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 4 and Kollam and Ernakulam sharing the third place with 3 deaths each. At the same time, if you look at the number of accidents that caused damage to houses and equipment, the maximum is in Kannur, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with Malappuram and Kozhikode following closely. See the graph given below:
Distribution of lightning accidents in Kerala showing the different kinds of losses caused in the fourteen districts.
LARC has been collecting data on lightning accidents in the state during the last couple of seasons. Given here is a chart showing the number of lightning accidents in all districts. As reported earlier by Dr. S. Murali Das from the Centre for Earth Science Studies, the highest number of accidents has been reported from Kannur district, though the largest contribution is from damage to houses and buildings. This indicates the need for many more installations of external lightning protection systems. After Kannur, the highest numbers are reported fromKollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts, which have reported about the same number. Thus, the districts that need greatest effort in lightning awareness campaign are Kannur, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. We hope to report results of more in-depth analysis of the data soon.
District-wise distribution of lightning accidents during the period January to May 2015.
The following report about two fishermen killed by lightning appeared in Mathrubhumi newspaper dated April 22, 2015.
News report in Mathrubhumi dated April 22, 2015.
A team from LARC visited the site and studied the accident. The team found that the incident took place around 5pm on 21/4/2015. Six fishermen were sitting inside a resting shed when the lightning hit the shed. The roof was burned partly. The heavy rainfall that was present prevented a larger fire.
The resting shed that was hit by lightning.
There was an umbrella and an iron rod kept nearby, which probably caused the lightning to strike there. Lightning current passed through two people, and both were killed immediately. Four others nearby got only mild shock, and were given first aid.
The damage to the roof due to lightning.
The roof was burned partly. The heavy rainfall that was present prevented a larger fire.
Damage where lightning current probably exited.
The following report about a house being damaged by lightning appeared in the newspaper dated April 27, 2015
The news report that appeared in Mathrubhumi daily dated April 27, 2015.
A team from LARC visited the site and studied the accident. The lightning incident took place around 5:00 pm on 24/04/15.
The house that was affected.
The team concluded that a coconut tree near the house was hit by lightning and the potential of the ground rose due to the lightning current through a phenomenon called Ground Potential Rise (GPR). As a result a large current flowed through the electrical wiring in the house. Almost all the electrical equipment was damaged.
The coconut tree that was hit by lightning.
The engineers from LARC came to understand from the site that the lightning hit the coconut tree, and through GPR, it got coupled to the power line and wall. As a result, the electrical equipment got damaged and as the ground was live it lead to the death of cat due to step potential.
Damage to the wall due to lightning current.
The electricity meter damaged and thrown on the ground by the lightning current.
Call CISSA/LARC (0471-2722151) to know more about lightning and protection measures.
Mathrubhumi newspaper of April 10, 2015, reported an incident in Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, in which a woman who was taking bath was killed in a lightning accident. A team from LARC visited the site and studied the accident.
The team concluded that a poovarasu (പൂവരശു) tree that is near the house was hit by lightning. The lady who was having a bath got hit by the heavy current generated by a phenomenon known as Ground Potential Rise (GPR). Some cracks also appeared on the wall. You can see in the below photograph the damage made to the tree due to lightning. The incident took place around 5:00 pm on 9/04/15. As she was bathing, the floor was wet which made easier for the current to flow by GPR. Her ear rings and chains melted due to the heating effect of the current flown through her body. One side of her body was blackened due to heavy current flow.
Chunks of gold recovered after gold ornaments the woman was wearing melted in the lightning current.
The പൂവരശു tree that was apparently hit by lightning.
The news report of the lightning accident in മാതൃഭൂമി newspaper dated April 10, 2015.