DhakaTribune
Friday January 19, 2018 11:04 PM

Cold wave takes toll on Panchagarh

  • Published at 02:21 AM January 11, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:45 PM January 11, 2018
  • Roads have seen very less vehicular activity, with the fog affecting visibility | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

  • A crackling fire and cows clothed to make the cold a bit more bearable | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

  • The recent cold wave has been harsh, especially on the elderly in the northern regions | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

  • For some, there is no alternative to going about regular business during these cold temperatures | Syed Zakir/Dhaka Tribune

  • This recent cold wave has seen the lowest temperatures recorded in the last 50 years in Bangladesh | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

  • Traffic in normally busy areas of Panchagarh has been sparse, with many locals afraid to brave the cold | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The cold wave was so intolerable that some people could not go out to work on the first three days of this week

Hit hard by the cold wave, Rahima Kahun has been too terrified to come out of her house for the last six days. She has been sharing a room with two of her cows and a goat since January 4, as the septuagenarian believes the cold must be equally troublesome for both human and animals.

Her sons take them out of the house only at noon, when the sun is highest in the sky and the temperature rises slightly. They also burn straw near the cattle, covered with sacks, to warm them up.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Rahima said: “I have never seen such a strong cold wave.”

There is little respite winter weather at other parts of Gaihata village in Boda upazila of Panchagarh.

Mohammad Liton, a battery-run rickshaw van puller, said the cold wave was so intolerable that he did not go out to work on the first three days of this week.

Liton said he has to wear multiple layers of clothing to protect himself from the harsh wind, and that he also keeps a blanket for the comfort of passengers.

The effect of the winter chill is particularly apparent at Islambagh Bazar, in the vicinity of the village. The market, which is normally packed with people, is only sparsely attended especially in the evening.

Though customers were seen flocking to clothing shops, other traders were found sitting idle, as people preferred to stay home rather than brave the cold.

“Coats, mufflers and woolen caps are among the most popular items right now in my shop,” said Md Alim, a trader.

Locals said the market is almost empty by 8pm these days, as everyone retreats to their blankets and the entire village turns in to await the warmth of the sun.

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