Lowest temperature in 45 years


Daily Star Online Report: Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Parents lie with their sick children on the floor at a ward in Pabna Medical College Hospital as the number of admissions goes up due to the countrywide cold spell on Wednesday. Photo: STARStar Online Report
Parents lie with their sick children on the floor at a ward in Pabna Medical College Hospital as the number of admissions goes up due to the countrywide cold spell on Wednesday. Photo: STARStar Online Report

The country has been experiencing its record lowest temperature since 1968 as mercury dipped to 3.2 degrees Celsius in Dinajpur on Wednesday.
The mercury dipped to 2.8 degrees Celsius in Srimangal 45 years ago, said Arif Hossain, an assistant meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Dhaka’s temperature was 7.2 degree Celsius on Wednesday while it was 9.6 degrees on the previous day.

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In a Met Office forecast for 24 hours that commenced from 9:00am Wednesday, severe cold wave is sweeping over the regions of Pabna, Dinajpur, Sayedpur, Tangail and Kushtia.
Mild to moderate cold wave is sweeping over rest part of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Dhaka divisions and the regions of Jessore and Srimangal, the forecast said.
The freezing weather may continue for three to four days, said meteorologist Md Rasheduzzaman.
The Met office said mercury dipped in most places in the northern region.
It also forecast that there would be at least two more mild to moderate cold waves in the country at the end of this month.
Dinajpur recorded the lowest temperature on Wednesday since the weather office setup in the district in 1982, reports our Dinajpur correspondent quoting Md Asiqur Rahman, a senior observer of local Met Office.
On January 17, 1996, Dinajpur Met office recorded 3.8 degree Celsius.
The temperature however increased to 6.5 degree Celsius around 11:00am Wednesday, Met officials said.
The sudden dip of mercury level troubled the public life especially children, elderly and poor people in Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts, our Dinajpur correspondent reports.
At least 86 people including children were also infected with different cold-related diseases in the districts.
Dr Moudud Hossain, civil surgeon of Dinajpur Health Department, told this correspondent that one person died and at least 26 people of the district had been admitted at different health complexes infected with diarrhoea in last 24 hours.
Shahjahan Ali, 75, died due to cold-related diseases on Wednesday, he said.
Another man died and around 60 people including children had been admitted at different health complexes of Joypurhat in last 24 hours infected with pneumonia and diarrhoea, Dr Noman Chowdhury, superintendent of Joypurhat Modern Hospital told our Dinajpur correspondent.
Tofazzal Hossain, 75, died due to the severe cold weather on Wednesday, Dr Noman said.
Anwarul Alam, deputy director of Dinajpur department of agriculture extension (DAE), said if such temperature continues for long crops will be affected.
Continuous cold spells paralysed life in Pabna as cold-related diseases have spread out alarmingly last three days due to the lowest temperature.
Md Rajib Khan, operator of Ishwardi Met office said 3.9 degree Celsius temperature recorded on Wednesday, the lowest ever temperature of the district since last two decades.
?People of Pabna are experiencing the second lowest temperature across the country for last two days. Low temperature would continue for two or three more days.? Rajib Khan said.
?A total of 298 children had been admitted to Pabna Medical College Hospital due to cold-related diseases including pneumonia, bronchitis and diarrhoea in the last three days,? Md Sohel Rana Milon, statistical assistant of the hospital told The Daily Star.
According to the hospital sources more than 40 children were admitted within last 24 hours.
Talking to The Daily Star, Dr Monwarul Aziz said there is no scope to arrange more beds for the extra patients.
Meanwhile, the people of Rangpur have shivered in the sweeping cold wave as the mercury dipped to 4.2 degree Celsius in the district on Wednesday.
Chief Meteorologist of Rangpur Met office Md Atiqur Rahman told our Rangpur correspondent that the district did not experience such low temperatures and cold wave in the last sixteen years.
Terming the situation as an effect of climate change, he also told that the situation would remain same in the next 48 hours.
Severe cold wave over the district have affected on health, business and agricultural sectors of the district.
According to the sources of Rangpur directorate office of health department, a total of 532 people mostly children and elderly people had been admitted to different hospitals and health complexes in 8 northern districts in the last seven days.
Rice miller Ameerul Islam of Mahiganj in the district said price of coarse rice rose to Tk 30 to Tk 50 per kg while the price of fine rice increased up to Tk 1.50 per kg as they could not operate their mills in accordance with the demand in the market.
Bogra Met office recorded 4.9 degree Celsius as the lowest temperature while 12.7 degree Celsius as highest temperature in the district on Wednesday, reports our Bogra correspondent.
Cold wave with the dense fog also paralysed the normal life of people in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat as Rangpur Met Office recorded 4.2 degree Celsius in the district.
Poor people particularly farmers and day labourers, the worst sufferers of the inclement weather, are trying to combat this bone chilling cold through warming themselves by setting fire to straw and old rubber tires.
Dr Tapon Kumar Roy, residential medical officer of Lalmonirhat Sadar Hospital, said the number of cases of different diseases like fever, cough, cold and diarrhoea and dysentery have been increasing alarmingly due to severe cold.
Abdul Mazid, the deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension in Lalmonirhat, said agricultural activities are also being hampered as farmers cannot work at crop fields due to the chilling cold.
Drik ICT has undertaken a programme to distribute blankets during the cold spell. Should anyone want to join in, please contact Mahfuz at mahfuz@drikict.net or +8801730444700

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

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