The cold wave currently sweeping over three northernmost districts may spread over next four to five days to engulf parts of western and central Bangladesh, forecast the Met Office on Friday.
Panchagarh would take the worst blow of the cold wave as forecasters predicted the temperatures there to remain below 10 C in last days of the month.
“Day temperatures across the country are likely to increase from today (Saturday),” said weatherman Arif Hossain. “But temperatures at night would keep falling,” he said.
Arif predicted that the remaining days of the month would be sunny. Parts of Bangladesh saw rains between Thursday and Friday morning.
The highest rainfall of 14 mm was recorded at Jashore in the 24 hours ending on Friday morning, said the Met Office.
In the six hours starting at 6:00 am on Friday, the highest rainfall of 10 mm was recorded at Bhola.
The country’s lowest minimum temperature of 9.2 degree Celsius in the 24 hours ending on Friday morning was recorded at Tetulia, said the Met Office.
In the capital, the minimum temperature was recorded at 15.2 degree Celsius. The Met Office said that a mild cold wave was sweeping over Panchagarh, Dinajpur and Nilphamari until Friday morning.
The Met Office predicted moderate to thick fog to disrupt visibility at places in the early hours of Saturday.
The Met Office said that the intensity of cold was unlikely to lessen soon and that it could be even more intense in January, the coldest month.
Our correspondent in Lalmonirhat reported the death of a 6-year-old child, Arman, because of cold related diarrhoea Froday morning.
The death of the child was confirmed by the Patgram Health Complex’s resident medical officer Rafiqul Islam.
Lalmonirhat civil surgeon Kasehm Ali said that 173 children and elderly patients were admitted to five health complexes in the district.
Day labourers largely remained out of their work because of the biting cold and farmers could briefly work in fields.
The rickshaw-pullers income fell drastically as people came out of home only when there was an emergency.
Burimari Exporters and Importers Association president Ruhul Amin Babul said that there activities were hampered as due to low turnout of labourers.
Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Abu Jafor said that they distributed more than 35,500 blankets and quilts to help people keep warm.
The Met Office predicted another spell of rain from next Friday after which temperatures might plunge again setting off a severe cold wave.
Lack of visibility has disrupted communication by the railway, air, waterways and road intermittently since December 16, when this winter’s first cold wave set in.
The New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that over 600 vehicles were caught in a traffic jam on both sides of the Padma River on the Paturia–Daulatdia route.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation DGM Zillur Rahman said that the queues of vehicles got bigger over the last few days as heavy fog caused suspension of ferry services across the Padma for several hours every day.
The New Age correspondent in Bogura reported that homeless people living in makeshift arrangements in the city, mainly in tent-like accommodations in fields and stations, suffered the worst due to the persisting cold.
The district administration has so far distributed 66,000 quilts among cold-weather victims in the district, which was far less than the need, said the New Age correspondent.
On Friday, at least 4,472 people were admitted to or treated at government hospitals across Bangladesh for cold-related diseases.