Mercury marks record drop since 68Staff Correspondent
The mercury dipped to 3 degree Celsius in Syedpur upazila of Nilphamari on Thursday, the lowest since 1968 when the temperature was recorded at 2.8 degree Celsius at Srimongol.
On Wednesday, the lowest temperature of 3.2 degree Celsius was recorded in Dinajpur.
At least 14 people have died of cold-related diseases in Manikganj, Kurigram, and Lalmonirhat districts since Wednesday.
Dhaka Met Office said the minimum temperature was recorded in Dhaka at 7.6 degree Celsius in the 24 hours to 6:00pm on Thursday, a little better than 7.2 degree Celsius recorded in the previous 24 hours.
The Met Office cautioned that three more cold spells might sweep the country this month.
According to the Met Office bulletin released at 6:00pm on Thursday, a severe cold wave is sweeping Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions and the regions of Tangail, Mymensingh, Sitakunda, Rangamati, Comilla, Srimangal, Jessore, and Kushtia and a moderate cold wave is sweeping the rest of the country.
A severe cold wave is defined as a temperature less than 6 degree Celsius while a moderate and a mild cold wave is defined as 6-8 degree Celsius and 8-10 degree Celsius respectively.
The bone-chilling cold may continue for two to three more days and the minimum temperature was recorded at single digit in almost all the districts barring a few in Chittagong division.
The acute fall in temperature along with a dense fog battered the public life across the country.
People, mostly children and elderly, affected by diarrhea and pneumonia were crowding the hospitals and health complexes in the cold-hit districts.
New Age Manikganj correspondent said the ferry service on Paturia-Daulatdia route resumed at around 9:30am after seven hours of suspension due to a thick fog.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation’s Aricha office manager (commerce) Bidyut Kumer Saha said four Ro-Ro ferries were forced to anchor in the mid-river at 2:30am due to the fog.
Seven other ferries remained stranded at two ends of the route and, as a result, hundreds of vehicles had to wait for the hours causing huge tailbacks at both the ends throughout the day.
Four people – Shaukat Ali, 55, and 10-month old Asif, son of Abdul Awal, of Ghior upazila, and farmer Abdul Malek, 40, and Ainal, 48, of Daulatpur upazila – died of cold-related diseases in Manikganj, locals said.
New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat, referring to locals, reported that four people died of cold-related diseases on Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the district.
The deceased were Mohammad Ali, 66, and Akbar Ali, 62, of Patgram upazila, Shikar Ali, 58, of Kaliganj upazila, and Shanto Islam, 4, of Aditmari upazila.
More than seven lakh poor people including two lakh char-dwellers were severely affected, local administrations said.
Lalmonirhat civil surgeon Jahangir Alam Sarker said an increasing number of patients, mostly children and elderly people, were being admitted to the hospitals and eight children and two elderly persons were referred to Rangpur Medical College Hospital on Thursday as their conditions deteriorated.
Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Habibur Rahman said 10 thousand pieces of blankets were being distributed among the cold-affected people of the district and he faxed a message to the disaster management ministry seeking 30 thousand more blankets to cope with the situation.
The bone-chilling cold wave and dense fog have paralysed life in Kurigram district for the past five days and at least five elderly persons have died of cold-related diseases on Wednesday and Thursday, wrote New Age correspondent in the district.
The deceased were Hazrat Ali, 65, of Raumari upazila, and Asir Uddin, 65, Nabab Ali, 67, Shahabuddin, 70, Bachchu Miah, 60, and Sabir Uddin, 80, of Rajarhat upazila.
Ayesha Bewa, 65, of Rajarhat upazila was burnt while she had been warming herself by burning straw and died immediately.
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