Bangladesh Suffers from Heatwave Then Leads to School Closure

Ilustrasi panas Bangladesh
Ilustrasi panas Bangladesh
Sumber :
  • Dhaka Tribune

VIVA – A searing heatwave in Bangladesh triggered the closure of primary schools this week, and repeated power cuts, worsening conditions for residents unable to run fans to cool themselves as weather officials warned relief was not imminent. 

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The maximum temperature jumped to nearly 41 degrees Celsius from 32C 10 days ago. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department warned that this heat will not end anytime soon.

Scientists have said that climate change is contributing to more frequent, more severe, and longer heat waves during the summer months.

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Bangladesh could face another two weeks of power outages, said Nasrul Hamid, Minister of State for Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources, as fuel shortages triggered the shutdown of several power generating units, including its largest coal-fired plant.



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"Due to the global energy crisis and the unprecedented surge in international currency markets, we are exposed to this unwanted load shedding," Hamid said in a Facebook post.

The heat wave comes as the country is grappling with power outages that have hurt the economy in recent months, including the clothing sector which accounts for more than 80% of its exports.

Many residents are also seeking medical treatment due to the unbearable heatwave. "We receive many patients suffering from heatstroke or other heat-related problems," said Shafiqul Islam, a doctor in the northwestern part of the country.

Authorities have encouraged residents to stay indoors and consume plenty of water, but the heatwave accompanied by power cuts has also resulted in water shortages in many places.

"The lack of water and heat is suffocating us. No leaves are moving. There is no shade, pulling a rickshaw has become difficult. Very difficult," said a rickshaw puller, Mohammad Sultan. 

"I lost more than 20 chickens (today alone) due to excessive heat. The power goes out for more than two hours at a time. I can't even sleep well. I feel very helpless," said chicken seller, Mohaamd Suman. 

The power crisis could also disrupt summer clothing supplies for retailers such as Walmart, Gap Inc, H&M, VF Corp, Zara, and American Eagle Outfitters, which are Bangladesh's biggest export customers. The loss of exports would exacerbate problems surrounding the country's cash reserves, which have slumped by nearly a third in the 12 months through April to a seven-year low, and limit its ability to pay for fuel imports.

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