Residents of Moulvibazar's Sreemangal are bearing the brunt of a mid-winter cold snap as the mercury plunged to 5.6 degrees Celsius on Friday, the lowest this season.
The cold wave, which has disrupted almost every aspect of life in the district, is likely to persist for a few more days, according to the Met Office.
Tea plantation workers and the downtrodden have been affected more than most by the biting cold, while tourists are also facing unexpected hardships.
In the last 24 hours, the highest temperature in the country was 19.2 degrees Celsius, recorded in Teknaf. Meanwhile, the mercury dipped as low as 12.3 degrees Celsius in Dhaka.
The previous lowest temperature of the season was 6.1 degrees Celsius in Tetulia.
An intense cold wave is currently sweeping through the upazila, said Anisur Rahman, an official at the Sreemangal Met Office.
The winter chill has been intensifying since the beginning of January, according to Mujibur Rahman, another official at the district's meteorological department.
“There was fog even a few days ago. After the fog cleared, there was a brief spell of sunny weather before cold winds started blowing across the district. The situation will last a few more days.”
According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, an intense cold wave is said to occur when the temperature falls below 6 degrees Celsius over a vast area. If the mercury lies between 8-10 degrees Celsius, it amounts to a mild cold wave while a moderate cold wave is where the temperature ranges from 6-8 degrees Celsius.
The chilly weather has left the elderly and children reeling. "I have not felt this cold for a long time. I can't get up in the morning and touch the water. It's very difficult to move around," said Sumati Malakar, a 60-year-old resident of Sreemangal's Sabuj Bagh.
The district administration is currently distributing blankets among the needy to protect them from the cold, according to Deputy Commissioner Mir Nahid Ahsan. So far, 30,000 blankets have been distributed, he said.
Meanwhile, a mild to moderate cold wave has gripped the districts of Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Rajshahi, Pabna, Naogaon, Sirajganj, Rangamati, Cumilla, Feni, Jashore, Chuadanga, Kushtia, Barishal, Bhola and Rangpur, the Met Office said.