Hailstorm, wind gusts kill six, damage crops and houses in Bangladesh

Hailstorm twinned with gusty wind have lashed different regions of Bangladesh, leaving at least six people dead.

News Deskbdnews24.com
Published : 30 March 2018, 01:37 PM
Updated : 31 March 2018, 08:34 PM

In Sylhet, a passerby died when the tin roof of a house collapsed while a child drowned during the onslaught on Friday.

Two died in Magura and Dinajpur after being hit by hailstones.

Two women were electrocuted and another was injured after a live electric wire fell over them in Jessore.

People said never before had they seen such big hailstones pouring down from the sky.

Photos from Pabna and Nilphamari show tin roofs pierced by hails during the storm.

Hailstorm also wreaked havoc also in Lalmonirhat, Jhenaidah, Thakurgaon, Rajshahi and Meherpur.

The hailstorm coupled with rain damaged crops and houses in Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur and several other districts.

In Dhaka, the day started with a sunny, bright sky, but it turned into a dour, menacing one in the afternoon with gusty wind sweeping the city.

The authorities had to cancel the recruitment test of a bank at a centre in the capital due to power cut during the storm.

Russell Shikder, an official at the Fire Service control room, said a large tree fell at Hazaribagh during the storm.

A sunny, bright morning sky in the capital turns into a dour, menacing one in the afternoon with gusty wind sweeping the city on Friday. The picture is taken from Mohakahali area. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

The Meteorological Department said rain and thunderstorms might continue in the next two days.

In Saturday’s weather forecast, the Met Office said rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, and Chittagong divisions with hails at isolated places.

People say they have never seen such big hailstones. The photo is taken from Gaibandha.

Deaths and damage

Shaheed Ullah, OC of Osmaninagar Police Station in Sylhet, said a woman, Sabia Begum, died when the tin roof of her house collapsed in Dashhal village in the afternoon.

He also said child Hasan Ahmed drowned in Umarpur village. 

The OC said many trees fell and at least 30 houses were damaged by the storm.

Akram Hossain, 35, was working in the field at Dohorsingra village in Magura's Sadar Upazila.  

Enamul Kabir Reza, a former vice-chairman of the Upazila council, said the locals took Akram to a hospital after the hailstones hit him. The doctors declared him dead after tests.  

Enamul said many others were injured in the hailstorm while the gusty winds fell scores of trees and damaged houses.

Abdus Salam, a member of Chandipur union council in Dinajpur’s Parbatipur, said one Syed Ali, 55, died on the spot after being hit by hailstones while repairing the tin roof of his house in Choitaparha village.

Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Abu Nayeem Md Abdus Sabur said the hailstorm damaged crops and vulnerable fruit trees like mango and litchis ahead of the upcoming summer season.

In Jessore, Nawaparha Highway Police Station OC Ataur Rahman said a female college student, ‘Laizu’, 19, and 50-year-old Fatema Begum were electrocuted at Prembagh on Jessore-Khulna Highway.

One of Laizu’s classmates, ‘Oishee’, 19, was injured in the incident and was admitted to Khulna Medical College Hospital, the OC said.

In Chandpur, Haimchar Police Station Inspector ‘Alamgir’ said three school students from Dhaka, who came to join the Sixth National Rover Moot and Community Development Camp or COMDECA, were injured in the storm.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the COMDECA in Chandpur on Sunday.

In the same district, a passenger launch partially sank in the Meghna river after its hull cracked while it was mooring at Matlab Upazila.

The launch was ferrying around 600 passengers to a religious gathering at Matlab, Upazila Executive Officer or UNO Sharmin Akter said.

She said the helmsman of the launch tried to moor the vessel at Shatnol pier hastily when the storm started, leading to the accident.

No one was injured as the passengers managed to get off before the launch partly sank, the UNO added.

Bidhubhushan Roy, Deputy Director of Lalmonirhat Agriculture Extension Department, said the storm swept over the area, wreaking havoc on crops. “The scale of damage will be estimated once all information is gathered.”

One affected farmer, Sirajuddin, a resident of Bokserhat village in Thakurgaon, said “I sowed maize and wheat on 10 bighas of land. The harvesting time was just a few days away. But now the crops have been damaged.”

Another affected farmer Altaf Hossain, a resident of Akhanagor union, said the hailstones during the storm and rain damaged his mango and litchi trees on five bighas of land. The storm also uprooted some trees, he said.

Aftab Hossain, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension in Thakurgaon, said, "We have recorded three millimetres of rain in the region".

The local administrations were yet to estimate the losses caused by the storm.

At least 50 people were injured in the hailstorm in Pabna, 20 in Dinajpur, 10 in Magura and three in Gaibandha, doctors said.

‘Biggest-ever hailstones’

Chairman of Mogolhat union of Lalmonirhat's Sadar Upazila Habibur Rahman said, "Huge hailstones damaged roofs of many houses and flattened crops."

Shujol Rahman, a resident of the area, said, “Never before have I seen such a strong hailstorm in my life.”

Rana Hamid, a resident of Pabna’s Bhangura, said tin roofs of many houses in the area were pierced by hailstones during the storm.

“I’ve never seen such big hailstones in my life!” said Rony Roy, a resident of Chatmohar Upazila in the district.

Solaiman Mia, a resident of Santhia Upazila, said the hailstones penetrated the tin roof of his house.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher