POST TIME: 26 April, 2019 12:52:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 April, 2019 04:08:33 PM
Sweltering heat leaves country gasping

Sweltering heat leaves country gasping

A Royal Bengal Tiger takes a dip in a pool in the zoo at Mirpur in the capital on Wednesday due to torrid heat of summer. Met office recorded 37 degrees Celsius in Dhaka yesterday. However, meteorologists predict that temperature may start falling from the end of this month with some rains. Independent Photo

With the mercury shooting up to 37 degrees Celsius yesterday (Thursday), this year’s highest so far in Dhaka, everyone wants to know when the ongoing heat wave will end. People are also suffering in the sweltering heat in Khulna, Sylhet and Rajshahi without a flake of cloud in the sky.  

The highest temperature recorded was 39.4 degrees Celsius in Khulna division, while it was 36.7 degrees Celsius in Sylhet division, 38 degrees Celsius in Rajshahi division and 37 degrees Celsius in Dhaka, the Met office said. City dwellers are feeling suffocated because of the heat wave. All are looking for some cool breeze for comfort. Tired pedestrians are drinking lemon water sold by nearby vendors and exposing themselves to health hazards.

Lower-middle class and middle class people are suffering the most. Rickshaw-pullers and CNG-drivers are having a field day as they have been charging extra money for offering their services under a blazing sun.

Passengers of a local bus going to the city from Savar were desperate for a breath of fresh air. The high humidity level made conditions unbearable. There was not a drop of rain till yesterday. A meteorologist said the temperature may start falling from the end of the month, with some rain having a cooling effect.   Many social media users discussed the rise in temperature in the city. Many termed it as “unbearable”.

A Dhaka resident, Anwar Hossain, told The Independent that it was very difficult to continue daily work because of the unbearable hot weather.  Another city dweller, Ariful Islam, said: “We can hardly manage our regular life as excessive heat is dragging us down. We  look forwards to having a downpour.”

Bazlur Rashid, a meteorologist of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), said though the temperature was 37 degrees Celsius, Dhaka dwellers felt the heat even more as it was a sunny day with no cloud cover.  

“Yesterday, the temperature rose two to three degrees Celsius within 24 hours as there was no rain the whole day. We expect it to fall in a couple of days,” Rashid told The Independent.

The heat has brought with it diarrhoea. A large number of diarrhoea-affected patients from different parts of the capital are crowding the city hospitals, particularly the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB), at Mohakhali. This correspondent found doctors struggling to tackle a surge in the number of patients yesterday noon.  

Azharul Islam Khan, in charge of the nutrition and clinical service division of the ICDDR,B, told The Independent that diarrhoea cases were on the rise because of the heat.

The Met office said a low has developed over the Equatorial Indian Ocean and the adjoining South Bay. A trough of low lies over the North Bay. The weather may remain mainly dry with  partly cloudy sky over the country.

A mild heat wave is sweeping over Chattogram, Barishal, Khulna and Sylhet divisions, as well as all regions of Dhaka, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajshahi, Pabna & Sayedpur. This situation could continue for a few more days, the Met office said.