PANCHAGARH, Bangladesh — Tens of thousands of people packed into a sports stadium in northern Bangladesh Wednesday with some weeping and shaking with fear as the moon passed over the sun for a full solar eclipse.
Around 100,000 people descended on the town of Panchagarh, a normally sleepy home to 30,000 people, according to district chief Banamali Bhoumik.
"People filled the stadium hours before the eclipse took place," he said. "When the sun was covered, some people cried while others were shaking in fear as the moon ate up the sun completely.
"The whole stadium erupted in thunderous applause as soon as the sun emerged again."
Bhoumik said thousands of devout Muslims prayed during the eclipse, believing the rare celestial event would trigger natural disasters in the impoverished country.
F.R. Sarker, the head of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society, said the total eclipse lasted less than four minutes, during which time stars were visible in the sky.
"There were some clouds, but they shifted so we have still seen the best solar eclipse of our time. A cold spell hit the town as soon as the total eclipse began."
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »