At least 74 people, including 35 farmers, were killed by lightning strikes in the past 38 days across the country, according to a report by a voluntary organisation.

The research cell of the Save the Society and Thunderstorm Awareness Forum published the report on Thursday, according to a press release.

The report said that at least 31 people were killed by lightning strikes in April, of whom 20 were male and 11 were female.

It also said that at least 43 people were killed by lightning from May 1 to May 8. Of them, 34 were male and nine were female.

Rashim Molla, general secretary of the SSTF, urged the government to build shelters in the fields to save farmers from lightning strikes and conduct a lightning awareness programme for four months from March to June.

SSTF president Kabirul Bashar said that they identified two reasons behind the increase in lightning strikes - the increasing impact of global warming, and cutting down trees in rural areas of Bangladesh.

Most of the people believe that it is safe to take shelter under trees during storms, he said, adding that they are wrong and that people have to take shelter in houses or establishments.

The organisation also urged farmers to take shelter in a safe place as soon as possible after seeing dark clouds in the sky while working.