Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

''Extreme heatwave may linger until May in Bangladesh''

Update : 21 Apr 2024, 19:53

The entire country is reeling under first spell of severe heatwave since first week of the current month and the ongoing heatwave will persist throughout the next month.

"The Met Office issued heat alert on April 3 and it has extended the heat alert as Bangladesh is likely to experience prolonged heatwave compared to the past of couple of years," Shahnaz Sultana, a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorologist Department (BMD), told BSS today.

"Intensity of heatwave may reduce for very shorter time in some parts of Bangladesh, if rainfall is likely with impact of nor'westers, she said adding, the country may experience temperature fluctuations as some region may experience slight rainfall at end of the month.

Bangladesh may witness extreme heatwave as there is little chance of rainfall during the summer season, the BMD meteorologist forecasted.  

Very severe heatwave is sweeping over Pabna, Jashore and Chuadanga districts, according to the weather bulletin of BMD issued today and its weather forecast valid for next 72 hours.

Severe heatwave is sweeping over Dhaka and rest part of Khulna divisions and the district of Rajshahi, the bulletin said, adding mild to moderate heatwave is sweeping over Barishal division and rest part of Rajshahi divisions and the districts of Mymensingh, Moulvibazar, Feni, Cox's Bazar, Chandpur and Rangamati and it may continue.

Day temperature may rise by (1-2)°C over Rangpur division and it may remain nearly unchanged elsewhere over the country, the bulletin added. Night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. Due to increase of moisture incursion, the discomfort may persist.

According to officials of different hospitals, lack of expected downpour lingers the nationwide heat wave, triggering an apparent health problem with increased number of people reporting to hospitals with high fever, diarrhea, pneumonia and sunstroke every day.

Hospitals in Dhaka are seeing a surge in patients from all over the country, presenting symptoms ranging from colds and coughs to fever and vomiting. Diarrhoea, headache, sore throat, and shortness of breath are among the more prevalent complaints among these individuals.

An average of 30 patients are being admitted per hour to the ICDDR,B in Mohakhali. By 2:00pm yesterday, 274 individuals had been admitted for heat and diarrhoea-related complications, a decrease from the previous day's count of 456 admissions, said hospital officials.

Poor working people like day laborers were worst victims as they need to remain exposed to sun for longer periods while several workers like rickshaw pullers said they need to take frequent breaks as the hot spell do not allow them to work for longer period at a stretch.

A significant number of patients, who are suffering from fever, diarrhea, pneumonia, reported to different private and public hospitals while health experts suggested all to try to stay indoors in possible cases or move out with protection against the scorching sun, covering their heads and bodies under umbrella to avoid sunstroke.

At the press conference held virtually, Health and Family Welfare Minister Professor Dr Samanta Lal Sen directed authorities concerned of the public hospitals to remain ready for extending healthcare services to people as the country is under the grip of severe heat wave.

"Elderly people and children are the most vulnerable due to the ongoing heatwave . . . I am urging the people, particularly old-age and children to stay indoors to avoid heatstroke and other heatwave related complications," he added.

Climatologist and Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Dr Md Kamruzumman Milon attributed the extreme heatwave to human-induced climate change.

Adverse impact of climate change causes extreme heatwave for longer period of time and unusual other disaster events including flooding, excessive rainfall and extreme cold weather.

Heatwave and intolerable hot weather have increased three times in Bangladesh during six decades, Kamruzzaman said, "In 1961, the duration of heatwave was seven days while comfortable days were 80 while in 2020, the duration of heatwave was 21 days while comfortable days were 66 days."

He forecasted duration of heatwave will linger in the coming days, "If we fail to take proper adaptive measures to reduce carbon emission."

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