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    Monday, 11 June 2018

    55 people dead as lightning and dust storm hit Bangladesh & India's Uttar Pradesh

    At least 55 people were killed as the lightning hit the people in India's Utter Pradesh and Bangladesh during last 24 hours on Monday. Of them 29 people were killed in different cities of Bangladesh and 26 near Lucknow (UP).According to details available with South Punjab News, at least 26 people were killed after dust storms and lightning hit in parts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday night, an official spokesperson said on Saturday. Storms and lightning wreaked havoc in places across 11 districts of the state on Friday night.
    While five deaths each were reported from Jaunpur and Sultanpur, four died in Unnao, three each died in Chandauli and Bahraich, two in Rae Bareli and one each in Mirzapur, Sitapur, Amethi and Pratapgarh, the spokesperson added.
    Kannauj district was also affected by a dust storm but no casualty was reported from there, he said.
    Soon after the calamity, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government directed the concerned district magistrates of the affected areas to immediately provide compensation to families of those killed and relief to the storm-affected people.
    Expressing grief over the deaths, he said the state government will extend all possible help to those hit by dust storms and related incidents, according to the spokesperson.
    Meanwhile, the weather department has warned that thunderstorm, accompanied by gusty winds, are likely at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh during the next 48 hours.
    Earlier this week, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted heavy rains, thunderstorm, and dust storm in Uttar Pradesh between June 7 to June 12.
    According to a press note released by IMD Lucknow, thunderstorm or dust storm was likely to occur in Bareilly, Moradabad, Meerut and Churk town in Sonbadra district. The maximum and minimum temperatures were likely to hover around 29 degree Celsius and 26 degree Celsius, respectively.
    The thunderstorms and dust storms, a frequent in the state in May, has already claimed several lives. As many as 80 people were killed when a dust storm struck several parts of UP on May 2 and May 3. Most of the deaths had occurred in Agra district.
    At least 18 people lost their lives in a thunderstorm that hit several places in the state on May 9 and 10. Fifty-one people died in similar incidents on May 14. Dust storms swept various parts of the state on June 1 claiming at least 17 lives due to uprooting of trees and incidents of house collapse.
    MeanwhileDozens of Bangladeshis were killed in lightning strikes as pre-monsoon thunderstorms wreaked havoc across the South Asian country, an official said Thursday. Farmers harvesting rice in open fields made up the majority of victims, Iftekharul Islam, a director at Bangladesh’s disaster management department, told AFP. “In the last 24 hours, 29 people have died from lightning in 12 districts. Almost all of them are farmers,” he said.
    Scores of people die every year after being struck by lightning during Bangladesh’s wet season, which runs from April to October, but officials say the numbers are exceptionally high this year.
    Islam said that more than 112 people had been killed in strikes in the first 10 days of May.
    “Every day 10-12 people are dying from lightning,” he explained, adding that it was instilling fear in farmers who harvest rice during this time of the year. Authorities declared lightning a natural disaster after 82 people were killed in a single day in May 2016. Independent monitors estimated that some 349 Bangladeshis died from lightning that year. Experts say deaths are rising as Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest nations, witnesses the increased deforestation of rural areas.
    Farmers are known to chop down trees to free up space to grow more rice.
    Disaster management officials are trying to reduce the high death toll by planting five million palm trees to provide better shelter.
    “We have already planted 3.8 million palm trees. But the trees take years to grow tall,” said Islam.
    Bangladeshi officials say a similar tree-planting programme in Thailand has yielded results.
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