Dhaka's air quality was marked as 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' this morning. With an air quality index (AQI) score of 107 at 8:50 am, Dhaka ranked 13th on the list of cities worldwide with worst air quality, according to the AQI. India’s Delhi, United Arab Emirates’ Dubai and Qatar’s Doha occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 166, 162, and 158 respectively. Read: Dhaka's air quality 'moderate' Friday morning When the AQI value for particle pollution is between 101 and 150, air quality is considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’, between 150 and 200 is ‘unhealthy’, between 201 and 300 is said to be 'very unhealthy', while a reading of 301+ is considered 'hazardous', posing serious 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. Read: Air pollution causing severe health concerns: CPD 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. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections. Read more: Dhaka’s air quality ‘unhealthy’, 5th worst in the world this morning
Air pollution in Dhaka is creating severe health concerns and increases the risk of stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, a survey by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) says.Acute respiratory disease, including asthma, the primary symptoms of which include coughing, breathing problems, runny nose, sore throat, chest pain, and eye irritation, rose alarmingly in the city, it says.The CPD, a think tank revealed this finding of the survey titled ‘Reducing Pollution for Greening Cities’ held at BRAC Centre, Mohakhali in the capital on Wednesday.The Green Cities Initiative was implemented by the CPD, in collaboration with KIVU International and the International Growth Centre (IGC), with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Northern Ireland (UK).The report has been prepared by Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD, Syed Yusuf Saadat, Research Fellow, CPD, Afrin Mahbub, Programme Associate (Research), CPD, and Marium Binte Islam, Research Associate, CPD.Syed Yusuf Sadat presented the keynote at the event. The CPD published these data by surveying 500 people in the City Corporation area of Dhaka. The event was presided over by Dr Fahmida Khatun. A number of local and foreign environmentalists were present along with US Acting High Commissioner Mati Kanel at the function.According to the report, 76 percent of people who participated in the survey think that air pollution increased in the last 2-3 years. Around 73 percent said that plastic pollution increased during this time than before. Around 43 percent of households feel that pollution is increasing due to the direct dumping of plastic on the streets.Due to these diseases caused by air pollution, Dhaka residents spend more than Tk 4,000 per person every year for the treatment of respiratory diseases. The empirical data shows that air pollution increased by 13 percent since 2020 which indicates that the respondents’ perception is in line with reality.These findings can be attributed to a combination of factors such as rapid urbanization, industrialization, vehicular emissions, inadequate environmental regulations, and weather conditions.Habibun Nahar, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, was the chief guest at the event.She said that pollution cannot be stopped by imposing law only.“Public awareness is needed for it. Awareness initiatives should be taken at the marginal level to make common people aware instead of holding meetings and seminars,” she added.As per CPD recommendations, a policy should be made to stop permanent chimney brick kilns by 2028 so that all the permanent chimney brick kilns in Bangladesh can be closed in phases.At the same time, steps should be taken for brick production by shifting to less polluting processes.The researchers said the Finance Act should impose a 1.0 percent surcharge on industries for producing products by polluting. The money will be spent on environmental protection.Policy recommendations for plastic pollution include enforcing a ban on polythene bags as well as emphasising recycling of plastic products, the researchers said.
The urgency for Southeast Asian nations to switch to clean energy to combat climate change is reinvigorating a 20-year-old plan for the region to share power. Malaysia and Indonesia inked a deal in Bali, Indonesia last month to study 18 potential locations where cross-border transmission lines can be set up. Those links could eventually generate power roughly equivalent to what 33 nuclear power plants would produce in a year. They are economically and technically feasible, and now are supported by regional governments, said Beni Suryadi a power expert at the ASEAN Centre for Energy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Biden tells Pacific islands leaders that he hears their warnings about climate change and will act The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN is a political and economic gathering of 10 countries across a vast region, from tiny Brunei and Singapore to military-controlled Myanmar and fast-rising economic power Vietnam. Experts describe imports by Singapore of hydroelectric-generated power from Laos via transmissions through Thailand and Malaysia as a “pathfinder” project, marking the first time that four countries in the region have agreed to trade electricity. Cross-border power purchases accounted for just 2.7% of the region's capacity in 2017, according to the Global Interconnection Journal. But those were between two countries, such as Thailand and Laos. Now, more countries are looking at power sharing as a way to wean their economies off coal and other fossil fuels. Vietnam would like a regional grid so it could sell clean energy, such as from offshore wind, to its neighbors while the Malaysian province of Sarawak is looking to sell its hydropower to neighboring Indonesia. The plan for a regional grid between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was conceived two decades ago, but progress has been stalled by various problems including technical barriers and political mistrust. UN climate summit: Rich nations are failing to keep promises on climate crisis The region now recognizes it must move faster. Climate change could reduce the region’s economic potential by more than a third by the middle of the century, according to a report presented at the 2021 U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Demand for electricity is rising, and governments have realized the transition away from fossil fuels requires an interconnected grid, Suryad said. “It has become a crucial need for every country,” he said. In the past, countries in the region were focused more on energy security, relying heavily on fossil fuels and often building more capacity than they needed. But renewable energy costs are falling, making hydroelectric, solar and wind power more affordable. And all ASEAN countries apart from the Philippines have pledged to stop adding carbon to the atmosphere by 2050. So, arguments in favor of an interconnected grid appear to be prevailing. Major economies must make fair share to avert impending climate crisis: PM Hasina at UN Tiny, landlocked Laos, with a population of only 7 million, has built more than 50 dams in the past 15 years, relying on its status as the “battery of Southeast Asia” to profit from sales of power to Thailand, Vietnam, and China. It still has surplus power it needs to sell to others in the region. Singapore — a small city-state of 6 million with nearly no natural resources — must import clean energy to meet its renewable energy goals. Regional grids can help bridge gaps between where power is needed and where it can be generated, helping countries adjust to outside shocks like big jumps in oil prices. They also can help cut costs: In 2021, for instance, Europe saved $36 billion by trading power, European regulators have estimated. Interconnected grids can also deliver reliable electricity to communities in remote regions like West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo. A life punctuated by rolling blackouts that forced shops to shutter and people to use diesel generators was the norm until a 170-kilometer (105-mile) long cross-border power line coming from neighboring Malaysia’s Sarawak province changed that in 2016. “This is a no-brainer way to do it ... because it’s been done elsewhere and the benefits are obvious,” said Rena Kuwahata, an energy analyst at the Paris-based International Energy Agency. But issues remain. One of ASEAN's core policies is non-interference, which means members tend to shy away from joint projects. Domestic energy priorities are sometimes at odds with the potential benefits of an interconnected grid. Nadhilah Shani, another expert at the ASEAN Center for Energy said that this creates a “dilemma” for countries: they could sell clean energy to neighbors for the region to wean itself off fossil fuels, or they could use those resources towards meeting their own climate targets. Malaysia gets only 1% of its electricity annually from clean sources. It banned the export of renewables in 2021 to try and develop a domestic clean energy industry. That ban was lifted this year but an Indonesian ban on clean energy exports imposed last year remains in effect. COP28 UAE President-Designate commits to put health at the center of climate discussions The region's lack of a regulatory framework for such things as installing submarine power cables is another stumbling block. Not all the technical problems have been ironed out. Voltages used by each country can vary, as do the capacities of their grids. Even countries whose grids span borders, like Thailand, need to upgrade them, Harald Link, owner of B.Grimm Power and president of Thailand’s Association of Private Power Producers, said in an interview. Projections of where power will be needed must be factored in, for example, plans for power-hungry data centers. “You need a huge amount of electricity— and they want it green. And where do you get it from? For some countries, it is more difficult to make it green,” Link said. Costs are high: at a minimum some $280 billion in power sector investments are required, according to the ASEAN Center for Energy. China's involvement in building much of the region's energy infrastructure via its Belt and Road Initiative could also be a concern. In 2021, Laos, under pressure from its mounting debts, granted a 25-year concession to operate its power grid to a majority Chinese-owned company. But despite intermittent tensions between China and some of its neighbors over territorial disputes and other issues, generally Beijing and ASEAN are working on the basis of “mutual interests and benefits,” said Nadhilah Shani, another expert at the ASEAN Center for Energy. Given how expensive it is to build power grids, the private financing needed to build it can influence how and where projects are built, said Shani. Still, she said, national priorities play a bigger role than Chinese investments in how electricity is transmitted. “We are in good place in ASEAN to have this kind of collaboration in terms of trading and we have reached a common understanding,” she said.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has predicted light to moderate rain or thundershowers in eight divisions including Dhaka in 24 hours commencing 9 am on Tuesday. According to a Met office bulletin, “Light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at a few places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Dhaka, Khulna and Barishal and divisions with moderately heavy falls at places over the country.” Read: How to be Safe During and After Heavy Rains Day temperature may rise slightly and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. Besides, the axis of monsoon trough runs through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal to Assam across northern part of Bangladesh. One of its associated troughs extends up to North Bay. Read: Dhaka’s air ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ this morning Monsoon is less active over Bangladesh and weak to moderate over North Bay. A low-pressure area is likely to form over north Andaman Sea and adjoining east central Bay of Bengal during next 48 hours.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has predicted light to moderate rain or thundershowers in eight divisions, including Dhaka, over 24 hours starting from 9 am on Monday. “Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely at many places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions; at a few places over Dhaka and Khulna divisions and at one or two places over Barishal and Chattogram divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions,” it said. Read: How to be Safe During and After Heavy Rains The country’s highest 259 mm rainfall was recorded in Saidpur upazila of Nilphamrau district in 24 hours till 6 am today. Day and night temperatures may remain nearly unchanged over the country, reads the bulletin. The country’s highest temperature was recorded at 35 degree Celsius on Sunday in Chattogram’s Sitakunda. Read: Rains likely to continue till September 25 Meanwhile, monsoon is fairly active over Bangladesh and weak to moderate over North Bay. A low pressure area is likely to form over the north Andaman Sea and adjoining area during next 72 hours.
Dhaka's air quality was marked as ‘moderate’ this morning (September 25, 2023). With an air quality index (AQI) score of 94 at 9:15 am, Dhaka ranked 9th in the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality. Pakistan’s Karachi, India’s Delhi and Jakarta of Indonesia occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 165, 161 and 146, respectively. Read: How to be Safe During and After Heavy Rains An AQI between 50 and 100 is considered ‘moderate’ with an acceptable air quality. However, there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution. 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. Read: 10 Most Earthquake-prone Countries around the World Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. Read: UN Secretary General calls for enhanced global cooperation for clean air
Rain, a wonderful blessing of mother nature, helps plants grow, fills up the rivers, and keeps the world green and liveable. However, transforming into a powerful storm, heavy rain can bring lightning, thundershowers, and strong winds, which can cause damages to lives and properties. So, understanding how to be safe during and after heavy rains is essential. This article provides a significant to-do list, carrying some practical steps. Let's dive into exploring ways to reduce the risks during heavy rainfall. Safety Tips during Heavy Rains and Thundershowers Things to do while Driving Turn on Headlights Rain can make it hard for other drivers to see the car. Turning on headlights increases visibility, reducing the risk of accidents. Don't Attempt to Drive across a Flooded Area During heavy rains, many roads face water logging. The depth of water can be hard to guess. The gathered water may also hide potholes and electrical wires. Therefore, driving through flooded areas can be risky. Read more: Ways to Purify Water during Flood, Disaster, Emergency Situations Reduce Speed Slowly Wet roads can make tires lose contact with the road surface, a phenomenon known as hydroplaning. To avoid this, vehicles should maintain slower speeds during heavy rain. Choose Safe Parking Spots While parking a vehicle, avoid places under power lines, trees, or next to utility poles. These areas can pose risks during heavy rains, like falling branches and debris. Avoid Driving in Heavy Rain Poor visibility during heavy rainfall makes driving risky. If possible, drivers should park the vehicle and wait until the rain has slowed down or stopped before continuing the journey. Read more: Fire Safety in Apartments: Causes and Prevention
Dhaka's air quality was marked as 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' this morning. With an air quality index (AQI) score of 141 at 8:40 am, Dhaka ranked fifth on the list of cities worldwide with worst air quality, according to the AQI. Pakistan’s Karachi, India’s Delhi and Qatar’s Doha occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 168, 168, and 149 respectively. Read: Dhaka's air quality continues to be 'moderate' When the AQI value for particle pollution is between 101 and 150, air quality is considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’, between 150 and 200 is ‘unhealthy’, between 201 and 300 is said to be 'very unhealthy', while a reading of 301+ is considered 'hazardous', posing serious 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. Read: Dhaka's air quality remains ‘moderate’ Friday 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. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections. Read more: After days of ‘moderate’ air quality, Dhaka’s air 5th worst in the world this morning
Rains may continue across the country including Dhaka till September 25, according to Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). “Rain may continue across the country till Monday. There is a chance of heavy to very heavy falls in the northern parts of the country including Rangpur and Rajshahi in the next few days,” Monwar Hossain, a meteorologist told UNB. Heavy rain leaves DU dorms waterlogged; students still suffering “Light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at most places over Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh divisions and at many places over Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions with moderately heavy to very heavy falls at places over the country,” said a Met office bulletin. More rains likely to drench Bangladesh The met office recorded 2mm of rainfall in Dhaka in 24 hours till 6 am on Saturday while 10 mm of rainfall in six hours till 12 pm today, he said. Day and night temperatures may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The low pressure area over Bihar and adjoining area weakened and merged with the monsoon axis. The axis of monsoon trough runs through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal to Assam across northern part of Bangladesh. One of its associated troughs extends up to North Bay, said a the bulletin. Light to moderate rains likely in Dhaka, other parts of country: Met office Monsoon is active over the northern part and fairly active elsewhere over Bangladesh and moderate over North Bay.
In recent years, several earthquakes have devastated different parts of the globe. Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement along tectonic plates within the surface of earth. These movements release energy in the form of seismic waves that cause the earth's surface to shake. These geological events disrupt lives and economies, standing as stark reminders of the need for earthquake preparedness. Let's take a look at the top earthquake-prone countries across the world and understand their vulnerabilities. The World's 10 Most Earthquake-prone Countries Japan Japan occupies a precarious position in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc characterized by fault lines and volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean basin. This is the convergence of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, Philippine, Okhotsk, and Eurasian. The primary reason behind Japan's seismic vulnerability is the collision and subduction of these tectonic slabs. The Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American Plate, creating deep ocean trenches and mountain ranges. Read more Earthquake Safety Tips for Parents to Keep Children Safe The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.1, triggered a devastating tsunami, claiming around 19,759 lives. The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, measuring magnitude 7, caused about 273 fatalities.