Bangladesh is very much vulnerable to several natural disasters. Every year, natural calamities upset people's lives in some parts of the country. The major disasters concerned in Bangladesh are the occurrences of flood, cyclone and storm surge, flash flood, drought, tornado, riverbank erosion, and landslide. These periodic natural disasters, mainly floods and cyclones, that ravage the country every now and then, to increase the sufferings of the poor disaster vulnerable people of the country. Recently there has been a new addition to the list of regular natural disasters of Bangladesh, named Cold Wave. This extreme natural event is termed as disaster when it adversely affects the whole environment, including human beings, their shelters, or the resources essential for their livelihoods.
Bangladesh is currently experiencing severe cold waves in the winter for last few years. Northern and southwest parts of the country experienced a rapid fall in temperature on 1 January 2010. Temperatures remained low since, with cold winds and serve fog. Poor people in the northern region of the country were the worst affected. The impact of the cold wave had resulted in a significant rise in respiratory illnesses, and in some cases death.
The impact of Cold Wave is as notorious as other regular natural calamities of Bangladesh as far as the death toll is in concern. The recent Cold Wave that appeared on the January 2010 in Bangladesh took sixteen lives, out of which nine are children, and made most of the population of the northern Bangladesh to suffer with pneumonia, cold diarrhea, cough, fever, asthma and other cold-related diseases. The rest of this article is organized as follows: We first discuss the characteristics of a cold wave. Then we write about the effects of cold waves. Next, we describe the cold waves in the perspective of Bangladesh, especially the reasons and the effects. Finally, we conclude the article by writing the summary and the recommendations.
2. What is Cold Wave?
A cold wave is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air. Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24 hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. The precise criterion for a cold wave is determined by the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year. Occurrences of extreme low temperature along with dry cold winds from north into the sub continent are known as cold waves. Cold waves are accompanied by high winds that cause excessive wind chills; leading to weather that seems even colder than it is. The damage arising from cold waves is mainly caused by the accompanying effects. Heavy snowfall can give rise to traffic chaos. Fatal accidents can occur if people fail to adapt their driving to road conditions. Ice rain can cause ice fractures in trees and telephone wires. The homeless, people who must spend time outdoors (e.g. for work) and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold waves. The cold wave has resulted in a significant rise in respiratory illnesses and, in some cases, death. Hundreds of people, especially children and the elderly, are suffering from cold-related diseases including bronchial asthma, pneumonia, coughs and diarrhoea. The Bangladesh Red Crescent is putting together a first warm clothes package to assist more than 30,000 people. The cold wave has had a terrible impact on northern communities. People are suffering from various cold-related illnesses. Cold waves can be forecast by modern weather forecasting. The weather forecasts can disseminate useful warnings to let the people try to keep themselves safe, as well as to prevent traffic accidents. 2.1. Formation of cold waves
A cold wave develops when cold air...