According to the Tetulia Weather Monitoring Centre, temperature in Panchagargh has been hovering between 10°-13°C for the last few days
Winter has intensified in Panchagarh, a northern district of Bangladesh, and in Nilphamari, due to the influence of Cyclone Phethai that has formed in the Bay of Bengal.
The skies are covered with thick black clouds in both the districts as it drizzles nonstop.
This sudden wave of chilly weather has taken the general people of the districts by surprise.
Due to the cold wave, people of all classes and groups, especially children and day labourers, along with the poor population of the areas, are suffering from shivering cold. And according to weather predictions, things are about to get worse.
According to the Tetulia Weather Monitoring Centre, the temperature in Panchagargh has been hovering between 10°-13°C for the last few days.
Every year, winter hits Panchagarh earlier than any other district of the country as it is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. Thus, winter here lasts longer.
Sunny Uzzaman, a monitor at Tetulia Weather Monitoring Centre, said the lowest temperature recorded in Panchagargh was 12.8°C on Wednesday. However, the temperature goes down even more during the night.
Day labourer Shafiqul Islam of Tulardanga area in Panchagargh said: "Even if there is dense fog and extreme cold outside, we cannot sit idle in the house. What will we eat if we do not work? People like us will have to starve if we decide not to go to work even for one day."
Motilal Roy, 46, a rickshaw-puller in the Boro Bazar area of Nilphamari municipality, said: "The rain and the cold wind started from Tuesday. It has been raining continuously. People are not willing to come outside. As a result, we are not getting any passengers, and bills are due and we do not know what to do right now."
Vehicles of all types, from CNG auto-rickshaws to buses and trucks, are on high alert as dense fog covers the roads in both the districts.
A local bus driver form Panchagargh, Saidur Rahman, said: "We are driving with high caution as visibility has gone down to bare minimum, because of the dense fog covering the area. It is taking us longer to reach our destinations. We are driving with our headlights on even in daytime."
According to Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Sabina Yasmin, only 22,000 blankets have been distributed by the district administration.
"That is insufficient for the 200,000 poor people of the area," she said.
"We have distributed 333 winter clothes in each of the unions under five upazilas. We have asked for more warm clothes from the authorities for the people of Panchagargh. Private and other organizations have been asked to come forward to save the poor," she added.