Sunday, 29 January, 2023
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Biting cold throws life into disarray

Biting cold throws life into disarray
With the entire country under the grip of bone-chilling cold, low-income people gather around a fire to warm themselves at Kakrail in the capital on Wednesday. – Reaz ahmed sumon

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The biting cold and foggy conditions continued across the country with Sreemangal being the coldest at 9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, throwing normal life out of gear and severely disrupting communications.

Country’s people, including the residents of the capital, were feeling the pinch of shivering cold due to the dip in mercury for lower temperature in the daytime amid chilly wind from the north.

Since Wednesday morning, the sun was not seen in the sky in the capital and many other parts of the country for the whole day.

This condition may persist for a couple of days, said Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

The extreme weather disrupted normal life and forced people to stay indoors while dense fog forced motorists to drive on highways with their headlights on in the daytime.

Poor people, especially day-labourers and workers, were the worst sufferers as they had no other option but to venture outdoors for the sake of livelihoods.

Many were seen gathering around fire to warm themselves.

According to the BMD, a moderate to severe cold wave coupled with dense fog is sweeping through different parts of the country.

Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during midnight till morning and it may continue till noon at places, it said.

Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country, the BMD said, adding that moderate to severe cold condition is likely to continue over north, north-western and central parts of the country due to lower difference between day and night temperature. 

Meanwhile, dense fog disrupted flight operations at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday.

At least one international flight was diverted and seven others were delayed at the airport, said its Executive Director Group Captain Kamrul Islam.

He said a flight of Saudia from Riyadh was diverted to Hyderabad International Airport due to poor visibility while flights of seven airlines -- Jazeera Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways, Oman Air and IndiGo Airlines -- were delayed for several hours due to thick fog.               Besides, flights from the Dhaka airport to different domestic destinations were delayed for several hours.

A mild to moderate cold wave is sweeping across Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Panchagarh, Tangail, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rangamati, Feni, Moulvibazar, Jashore, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Barishal and Bhola districts and Sitakunda upazila and it may continue, said the BMD.

Akkas Ali, who works in a restaurant in Kanaipur Bazar in Faridpur, said his fingers went numb with cold as he had to touch water frequently. “Despite that, I have to continue my work. Or else, the restaurant owner will not pay me.”

The number of patients with cold-related problems was rising in hospitals and many people were seen standing in long queues at the local hospitals to receive treatment.

Country’s lowest temperature was recorded at 9 degrees Celsius in Sreemangal on Wednesday.

According to Sreemangal Meteorological Centre, the temperature was recorded at 9:00am.

With this, Sreemangal logged the lowest temperature in the country for the second day in a row. The mercury plummeted to 8:5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

The temperature is likely to drop further in Moulvibazar, the met office added.

Ferry services on the Paturia-Daulatdia and Aricha-Kazrihat routes resumed on Wednesday morning after a suspension of about five and a half hours due to dense fog.

The ferry movement resumed after the fog intensity started to decline, said Mohiuddin Russel, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation at Paturia office.

He said thick fog blanketed the river routes, forcing them to suspend the ferry movement around 3:30am.