Two major global book fairs, both on target to set new records for attendance and sales, had their hopes dashed this weekend as fire broke out at the Casablanca International Book Fair in Morocco and floods devastated the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, the month long national book fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The storm swept across the boi mela in the early hours of Sunday, destroying many thousands of books and devastating publisher stalls.

BD News 24 has the details and images.

By Bangladesh standards the storm was perhaps milder than many the country has to deal with, and plenty of warning was given. Not many stall-holders at the event had few options to remove or store their stock, and many will at best pay the price of many lost sales this time, and for those not covered by insurance things could get a whole lot worse.

Luckily there were no human casualties during the storm, a sentiment that can be echoed for the Casablanca International Book Fair in Morocco, where visitors had to be evacuated as a fire broke out at a bookstall, believed to have been caused by faulty wiring.Several bookstalls and an as yet unknown number of books were destroyed.

Via Africa Now.

UPDATE: The Casablanca International Book Fair concluded with a new record of 550,000 visitors.