A cold wave has struck the northern districts of the sub-Himalayan regions of Bangladesh claiming more than 72 lives as per the assessment data of BDRCS and local administration, mostly children due to hypothermia.
According to the Disaster Management Information Centre on 26 December 2012, around 22 districts have been affected by the cold wave, notably the districts of Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamary, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogra, Joypurhat, Naogaon, Nawabganj, Rajshahi, Natore, Sirajganj, Pabna, Mymensing in the north, Moulvibazar in the east and certain districts in the south, namely Kushtia, Jessore, Faridpur and Madaripur.
According to the BDRCS concerned units, people living in open and public spaces like bus and railway stations, and daily labourers and slum dwellers are most vulnerable to cold wave as they cannot afford warm clothes. As per the reports received from various units, more than 50 per cent of population in the district is affected by the cold wave.
The number of pneumonia and diarrhoeal patients, mostly older population and children, continues to increase due to the sweeping bone-chilling cold wave in the sub-Himalayan regions in the past week.
The extreme cold and the lack of sunlight is expected to hamper the natural growth of crops, including Boro (winter rice variety) seedlings. Failure of cash crops may result in unemployment of agro-labour and investment of share croppers and induce poverty of marginal farmers.Meanwhile, The Times of India reports 129 deaths due to cold in its northern states.