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AQI: Dhaka on top 5th list among unhealthy air quality

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With an air quality index (AQI) score of 199 at 9:20 am Tuesday (April 11, 2023), Dhaka ranked 5th in the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality.

China’s Beiijng, India’s Delhi, and Pakistan’s Lahore occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 482, 359 and 263, respectively.

An AQI between 151 and 200 is considered “unhealthy”, while between 201 and 300 it is considered “very unhealthy”, and 301–400 is “hazardous”, posing severe health risks to residents.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants — Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone.

Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution issues. Its air quality usually turns unhealthy in winter and improves during the monsoon.

Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide.

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Heavy Rain, Severe Cyclonic Storm “REMAL” to Impact Southern Bangladesh

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REMAL rain

Light to moderate rain or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind, are expected in most parts of Bangladesh, according to the latest forecast from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The forecast predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall in the southern regions of the country.

“Light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind are likely to occur at most places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions, with heavy to very heavy falls at places over the southern part of the country,” stated the Met office in its 24-hour forecast starting from 9 am today.

The deep depression over the West-central Bay has intensified into Cyclonic Storm “REMAL” and further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm over the Northwest Bay and adjoining areas. As of 6 am today, it was moving northwards and is expected to cross the Sagar Island (West Bengal) – Khepupara coast near Mongla by this evening or midnight on May 26, 2024.

Due to the peripheral effects of the severe cyclone, coastal regions of Bangladesh have already begun experiencing rain with gusty winds.

The Met office also noted that a mild to moderate heatwave is sweeping over Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions, but it may abate soon. Daytime temperatures are expected to drop by 1-3°C, while nighttime temperatures may decrease slightly across the country.

On Saturday, the highest temperature recorded was 41.7°C in Chuadanga, and the lowest was 23.6°C in Bandarban. The maximum rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours up to 6 am today was 42 millimeters at Hatiya.

In the capital, the sun will set today at 6:40 pm and rise tomorrow at 5:12 am.

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Gold Price Drops by Tk 1,283 per Bhori: Bajus

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The Bangladesh Jeweller’s Association (Bajus) announced today, 25 May, a decrease in the price of gold by Tk 1,283 per bhori, following a decline in the local bullion market. The new price for 22-carat gold is now set at Tk 1,17,176 per bhori.

Additionally, the price for 21-carat gold has been adjusted to Tk 1,11,846 per bhori, 18-carat gold to Tk 95,866 per bhori, and the traditional gold price to Tk 79,256 per bhori.

These new rates will be effective from Sunday, 26 May, as per a Bajus press release issued today.

However, buyers should note that a 5% VAT will be added to the Bajus fixed price for gold jewelry, along with a 6% making charge per bhori.

Throughout May, the apex body of gold traders has adjusted the gold price six times, increasing it six times and decreasing it twice.

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Met Warns of Heat Wave Across Bangladesh

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The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) reports that all divisions, including Dhaka, are currently experiencing a mild to moderate heat wave.

According to the Met office, a mild to moderate heat wave is sweeping across Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions, with the possibility of continuation.

Meanwhile, forecasts indicate the likelihood of light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind in most places over Khulna, Barishal, and Chattogram divisions, and in many places over Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions. Moderately heavy to very heavy falls are expected at some places over the southern part of the country.

Elsewhere in the country, the weather is expected to remain mainly dry with a temporary partly cloudy sky.

The depression over the East-central Bay and adjoining West-central Bay has moved northeastwards and intensified into a deep depression over the same area.

Day temperatures are expected to remain relatively unchanged, while night temperatures may decrease by 1-2°C across the country.

Due to increased moisture incursion, the discomfort may persist.

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