Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh storm’

Lightning Kills 23

Posted by feww on May 3, 2010

Lightning kills 23 people in Bangladesh and injures dozens more

Most of the victims were farmers working in the fields, said a local report. Twenty-one of the victims were killed on Sunday and two on Saturday.

If you thought that the lightning deaths in the Bangladesh killing fields set a new record, you’d probably be right because the average number of people killed by lightning in the U.S. is 70 per year, and the U.S. population is 1.9 times that of Bangladesh.

According to National Weather Service (NWS), lightning is a major cause of storm-related deaths in the United States. An average of 58 lightning fatalities were reported over the past 30 or so years, in the U.S., making it deadlier than  hurricanes and tornadoes in most years. Although the true figure could be as many as 70 deaths per year.

Only about 1 in 10 of  lightning victims are killed, according to NWS Storm Data (see following stats), with  the other 90% receiving various degrees of disability.

ODDS OF BECOMING A LIGHTNING VICTIM

  • U.S. 2000 Census population (as of 2008):   300,000,000
  • Number of Deaths Actually Reported:     60
  • Estimated number of actual U.S. Deaths:     60
  • Number of Injuries Reported:     340     (total deaths and injuries = 400)
  • Estimated number of actual Injuries:     540     (total deaths and injuries = 600)
  • Odds of being struck by lightning in a given year (reported deaths + injuries) :    1/750,000
  • Odds of being struck by lightning in a given year (estimated total deaths + injuries):     1/500,000
  • Odds of being struck in your lifetime (Est. 80 years):     1/6,250
  • Odds you will be affected by someone being struck (Ten people affected for every one struck):   1/625

Source: NWS Storm Data

If the massive rise in the number of deaths and injuries caused by lightning were to develop into a pattern, it would serve as yet another ominous warning concerning the ever-increasing intensity in the impact of human-enhanced natural disasters.

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Dozens killed in South Asian Storm

Posted by feww on April 14, 2010

Powerful tropical storm pummels coasts of India’s West Bengal and Bangladesh, killing 100 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes.

Winds of 120 km/hr blew away the roofs of buildings, uprooted trees and cut off electricity and telephone lines, killing at least 100 people and injuring hundreds more.


Freeze frame from West Bengali TV showing damage to houses. Image may be subject to copyright.

The storm struck in the middle of a major heatwave in the region that has affected more than a third of India’s 29 states, leaving at least 47 people dead.

“The storm has left a trail of destruction everywhere,” West Bengal minister of state for civil defense Srikumar Mukherjee said on a televised appearance.

Some 50,000 houses had collapsed or were damaged, and hundreds of people received severe injuries, he said.

“Most of the victims were buried under the collapsed walls of their homes.” The minister added.

The officials described the storm as an extreme form of what is locally called a “nor’wester” – a weather system that develops over the Bay of Bengal during summer.

“The storm has damaged more than 11,000 mud, tin and concrete homes in Rangpur district alone – many of the houses were completely demolished. It was a huge storm and we are still assessing the damage,” AFP quoted Rangpur district administrator BM Enamul Haq as saying.

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Posted in 34397017, Bay of Bengal, cyclone, Rangpur district, West Bengal storm | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »