Saturday, March 2, 2024

Dense fog disrupts communications across Bangladesh

News Desk :

Cold and dense fog continued to disrupt life with road, air and waterways communication remaining suspended in the early hours of Tuesday as Bangladesh braces for this winter’s first cold wave likely to set in today.

Authorities also confirmed until Tuesday the death of 14 people in cold-related diseases and road accidents as dense fog has been severely affecting visibility since November 15.

Another 52,298 people have taken ill over the same period due to cold-related diseases, said the emergency operation centre and control room of the health ministry.

Sharing its report, the emergency health control room said that three of the 13 deaths due to cold diseases resulting in acute respiratory infections occurred between Monday and Tuesday in Khagrachhari.

Another death occurred on Tuesday afternoon in an accident when two passenger launches collided in the Meghna River in Chandpur.

News agency UNB reports that 35-year-old man as Md Sohel, a resident of Char Fashion of Bhola district, died when two passenger launches named Shuravi-8 and Tipu-14 clashed at about 12:30pm in dense fog.

The accident also left five people injured.

Another collision happened between two launches, Chandpur-bound MV RAF RAF-7 and Patuakhali-bound MV AR Khan-1, due to dense fog in Mohanpur area of Matlab Uttar upazila of Chandpur early Tuesday.

No casualties were reported in the incident.

New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported suspension of the ferry service for nearly seven hours on the Paturia-Daulatdia route since about midnight past Monday.

The suspension of the ferry service left hundreds stranded on either sides of the river crossing.

Dense fog also disrupted the flight operations at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for eight hours on Tuesday, compelling 11 flights to be redirected to other nearby airports.

HSIA executive director Group Captain Muhammed Kamrul Islam said that flight operation remained suspended for eight hours till 8:00am.

At least 11 flights—ten passenger ones and one cargo flight—were redirected to Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok airports.

From 8:00am on Tuesday, these flights began to return to the Dhaka airport once the fog cleared, he said.

No international flights could land at the Hazrat Shahjalal airport from midnight past Monday till 8:00am Tuesday, the airport ED added.

Poor visibility is likely to continue from several hours of dense fog starting from about midnight, said meteorologist Muhammad Abul Kalam Mallik.

‘A cold wave might appear in pockets today [Wednesday] gradually engulfing vast tracts of northern and western regions from tomorrow,’ he said.

The cold wave is likely to continue through December 18.

Daily wage earners and farmers working outdoors are suffering much as they have inadequate warm clothes to withstand the cold chill.

Northern districts, home to the country’s most impoverished population segments, bear the brunt of the winter as the chilling northern wind first arrives there.

Meanwhile, hospitals have already reported receiving more cold-related child patients.

Residents along the riverbanks, engulfed in dense fog and affected by a continuous cold wind, are particularly suffering.

Health experts have urged the government to provide free vaccinations for children and the elderly against rotavirus and flu to tackle the possible increase in winter diarrhoeal and flu patients among these age groups.

Experts said that socioeconomic conditions and behaviour can exacerbate the adverse effects of cold and winter, especially in a polluted environment affecting the respiratory tracts of humans.

The BMD in its weather bulletin issued at 6:00pm on Tuesday said that weather may remain mainly dry, except for Rangpur division, where a drizzle is likely.

The temperature could fall by up to 3C by today [Wednesday], the BMD said.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh experienced minimum temperature of 11.8C, recorded in Tetulia.

The country’s maximum temperature of 31C was recorded in Teknaf.

Dhaka saw its minimum temperature drop to 16.9C, while the maximum temperature was recorded at 24.1C.

Winter officially begins in December, but it sets in pockets of northern region earlier than the rest of the country.

Meteorology defines cold wave when the minimum temperature drops below 10C, with categorising cold waves into middle, moderate, severe and very severe based on the drop in temperatures.

– Input from New Age was used in this article.

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