No respite from hot weatherMohiuddin Alamgir
With people already suffering from the ongoing heat wave throughout the country, the Met Office forecasts that the country could experience further severe heat waves with temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius this month.
The Met Office said that the highest temperature of 37 degrees Celsius was recorded at Ishwardi on Friday. In Dhaka, it was 34.8 degrees, in Rajshahi 36.2 degrees and Khulna 36.8 degrees Celsius.
‘The prevailing mild heat wave over Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions and the regions around Dhaka may continue,’ assistant meteorologist Abul Kalam Mallik told New Age on Friday.
The temperatures were well above the normal maximum temperatures in the cities of Bangladesh.
According to the web site of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, normal temperature in early May in Dhaka hovers between 32 and 33.4 degrees Celsius, but this year it was over 35 degrees Celsius.
In Rajshahi, the normal highest temperature during the period is 34.4 to 34.9 degrees Celsius while this year it was over 39.
To deal with the heat, people usually prefer to stay indoors but that is often no protection due to frequent power outages.
Poor and middle-income people who do not have the capacity to buy instant power supply systems or generators are amongst the worst sufferers from the heat wave.
‘I came here looking for a cool breeze to deal with the blistering heat,’ said Jahid Emran in Suhrawardy Udyan, who was accompanied by his wife and a young boy.
‘We hardly can stay inside the house because of frequent power cuts.’
The movement of rickshaws has reduced significantly in the city as many pullers flocked under roadside trees sheds to escape the heat.
Many rickshaw and CNG-run auto-rickshaws were charging higher fares in the hot temperature creating further difficulties for residents wanting to move amid the scorching heat.
‘The weather is unbearable, It is like a hell,’ said Ismail, a rickshaw-puller who was taking rest in front of the Central Shaheed Minar.
‘It is really tough to stay on the roads as the bitumen melts in midday heat,’ said a traffic policeman who was taking juice made with chilled water and lemon at Framgate.
The hot spell also leads to a rise in water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid, jaundice, dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, viral fever, influenza and other viral diseases.
Physicians advised people to take more fluid and to avoid both the heat and food from roadside shops.
With the scorching heat and sultry summer weather, the season demand for seasonal fruit, including watermelons and green coconuts, has increased with a resulting increase in prices.
The New Age correspondents in Rajshahi and Khulna reported that low-income groups, especially day-labourers and rickshaw-pullers, are most hard hit by the summer heat as many remain off work.
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