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Thick layer of smog over Dhaka nightmare for residents

Air 2024-02-20, 1:39pm


Air pollution in Dhaka City on Tuesday.

Dhaka dwellers rose from bed on Tuesday morning to see a thick layer of smog (smoke and fog) blanketing the city. The sun was not visible and people could not figure out if the sky over the capital was cloudy of visibility was affected by high degree pollution of its air.

While Dhaka’s air rated fifth worst polluted in the world early in the day, the Metereological Department forecast rain with partly cloudy sky for Dhaka and elsewhere over Bangladesh. The capital ranked worst air polluted in the globe only on the day before.

A cloudy sky over the city in the morning meant the polluted air remained suspended and trapped as the smoke and dust mixed with fog could not shoot to upper layers. And this increased the density of the polluted air reducing visibility. Such a condition is dangerous for people suffering from asthma and other bronchial diseases, and children who are susceptible to air pollution. 

The environmental watchdog, the Department of Environment, and the two city corporations of the metropolis should have alerted the people to the health threat posed by the thick smog that remained suspended for at least six hours. 

Although a dim sun peeped through the smog and cloud after the mid day the density of the thick blanket of smog did not come down. Dhaka dwellers suffered silently. Air pollution is a silent killer. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, mainly due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

Deaths caused by air pollution were estimated at 173,515 in 2019 in Bangladesh and this made 20 percent of annual deaths in the country. The figure must have increased during the past four years as the intensity of air pollution has increased making capital Dhaka the top cities in the world grappling with the problem. Researches show the life expectancy of people in Dhaka is coming down by eight years due to air pollution.       

The met office has forecast rain or thunder showers at one or two places over Mymensingh, Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal and Sylhet divisions. Weather may remain mainly dry with partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country. 

Light to moderate fog may occur at places over the country during late night to early morning. Temperature: Night temperature may rise by (1-2)°C and day temperature may fall slightly over the country. 

A trough of westerly low lies over West Bengal and adjoining area. Seasonal low lies over South Bay. 

The sun set at Dhaka on Tuesday at 05-57 PM rises on Wednesday at 06-28AM