At least ten international and a dozen national flights were diverted and delayed as dense fog forced the authorities to suspend flight operations at the country’s two international airports for several hours in the early hours of Tuesday.
Flight operations remained suspended for almost six hours from 4:00am at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka after visibility became too low for planes to fly, said the airport’s station air traffic officer SM Wahidur Rahman.
Seven of the international flights delayed were scheduled to arrive at the Dhaka airport from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Muscat and Singapore but were diverted to Bangkok and Kolkata, he said.
Two other flights scheduled to fly from the Dhaka international airport for Malaysia and Nepal in the morning were more than an hour behind their schedules when they finally left.
Another flight bound for Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram from China was diverted to Mandalaya, Myanmar, said Wahid.
‘Flight schedules are in a pretty mess,’ Wahid told New Age.
The capital remained covered in a dense fog until late into the morning and the Dhaka airport’s designated spaces were not enough to accommodate the passengers present for their flights.
The situation at the domestic terminal was particularly bad for hundreds of passengers scheduled to fly on five different routes via 12 flights got caught up there.
Domestic flights start operating from 7:00am.
This is the second consecutive day flights were disrupted in a part of the day due to dense fog. On Monday, flight operations at the airport were closed for six hours.
The Met Office said that a dense cloud of fog covered the country’s eastern part until noon when the sun briefly shone to warm the atmosphere in the region.
The country’s highest maximum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 26.6°C at Teknaf.
Maximum temperatures rose across the country over the 24 hours until Tuesday afternoon and hovered around 23°C.
The Met Office said that the day temperature would remain unchanged today while night temperatures might slightly rise.
The minimum temperature is measured at dawn.
On Tuesday, the lowest minimum temperature of 7.2°C was recorded at Tetulia.
Weather forecasters said that a mild cold wave was sweeping over the Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions and regions of Jashore and Kushtia.
‘The weather would remain about the same over the next four to five days,’ forecaster AKM Ruhul Quddus told New Age.
The morning fog would gradually thin out with slight rises in temperatures over the next four to five days, he said.
In the 24 hours ending on Tuesday morning, 6,197 people were admitted to government hospitals across Bangladesh because of cold-related diseases, said the Health Emergency Operation Centre and Control Room.
At least 54 people have died of such diseases in the country so far since November 1, according to the control room.
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