Flood situation may worsen in north, northeast regions

Flood situation may again worsen in two northeastern districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj just a break of several days when the region witnessed a short-term flood since last week of June as the water levels of all major rivers in upper Meghna basin started rising again due to onrush of upstream water along with heavy rainfall, reports BSS.

Referring to Bangladesh and Indian meteorological offices’ predictions, the FFWC in a bulletin on Friday said heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur in the northern and northeaster regions in Bangladesh and adjoining Indian northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya and trans-Himalayan West Bengal and Bihar in the next 72 hours.

It may cause inundating of low-lying areas in at least seven northeastern and northern districts in the next 72 hours as water levels were flowing above danger marks (DM) at four points three in Meghna and one in Brahmaputra basin till 9am today while water levels at 57 river stations out of total 101, monitored by FFWC, marked a rise while 42 stations recorded a rise and two others remained steady during that period.

In Meghna basin, river Surma marked a very sharp rise of 118 centimeter (CM) and 59cm overnight at Kanaighat and Sunamganj points respectively flowing 18cm and 17cm above its DM at the respective points till 9am today.

Jadukata river in that basin also marked a sharp rise of 84cm overnight at Larergar point flowing 23cm above its DM while in Brahmaputra basin, river Gur was flowing 13 above its DM at Singra point in Natore with a 13cm rise in the last 24 hours.

Five northern districts of Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Rangpur and northwestern Natore may also witness a fresh flood in the next 72 hours due to onrush of upstream water and heavy to very heavy rainfall in the upstream and northern region of the country.

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) bulletin said water levels of Teesta and Dharala may rise rapidly in the next 72 hours and Teesta is likely to cross its danger mark (DM) in the next 24 hours till 9am tomorrow while major rivers in Brahmaputra-Jamuna basin marked rise till 9am on Friday.

It added water levels of rivers in Ganges-Padma basin were in reducing trend and it may remain static in the next 24 hours.
“People living in low-lying areas in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts in the northern region and Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona districts in northeastern region may face fresh spikes of medium range floods in the next 72 hours,” Sarder Udoy Raihan, sub-divisional engineer of FFWC, told BSS on Thursday.

He said water levels of major rivers in Brahmaputra-Jamuna basins may cross their danger marks (DMs) at major points from July 12 and the water levels may reach at its peak on July 17 while water levels of Padma basin rivers is likely to reach its peak on July 19.

With the rise of water levels in the Brahmaputra and Meghna basins in the next 72 hours and later in the Padma basin due to onrush of waters from upstream and heavy to very heavy downpours, low-laying areas of the country’s 23 districts may experience spikes of fresh and prolonged flooding.

“Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre has alerted that the people of low-lying areas in 23 districts are going to witness fresh flood in next week as water levels of the rivers Brahmaputra-Jamuna, the Padma and the Meghna are likely to rise from July 11,” State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman told an online press conference on Thursday after an inter-ministerial meeting on flood.

He said the northern Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Nilphamari and Gaibandha, northwestern Natore, Naogaon, Bogura, Sirajganj and Rajshahi, north central Jamalpur and Tangail and central Manikganj districts in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna basin, central districts of Rajbari, Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Munshiganj and southeastern Chandpur in the Ganges-Padma basin and northeastern Netrokona, Sylhet, Sunamganj and central district of Kishoreganj in Meghna basin may witness the fresh wave of flood.

According to FFWC, the recorded rainfalls were 183 millimeters (MM) at Sunamganj, 124mm at Lalakhal, 78mm at Lama, 60mm at Kushtia, 175mm at Chhatak, 104 mm at Larergar, 70mm at Maheshkhola, 60mm at Durgapur, 128mm at Jaflong, 103mm at Chilmari, 60mm at Brahmanbaria and 60mm at Tangail station in the last 24 hours till 9am today in the downstream.

In the upstream in the Indian northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura, the recorded rainfalls were 551 millimeters at Cherapunji station, 120mm at Shilong, 297 at Pasighat, 99mm at Dhubri, 154mm at Goalpara and 50mm at Jalpaiguri station during that period.

The Bangladesh Metrological Department predicted light to moderate rain is likely to occur at most places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at many places over Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna and Barishal divisions with moderately heavy to very heavy falls at places over the country in the next 24 hours till 9am tomorrow (Saturday).
The rain is likely to continue in the next 72 hours, it said in a bulletin.

It added the axis of monsoon trough runs through Panjab, Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal to Assam across northern part of Bangladesh. One of its associated troughs extends up to North Bay while monsoon is active over Bangladesh and moderate over North Bay.

Since the rise of water levels in Brahmaputra and Meghna basin in the last week of June and later in Padma basin, people in northern, northwestern, northeastern and central districts faced the spikes of flood with loss of livestock, damage of crops and roads.

State minister Dr Enamur on Friday said the government has taken all-out preparations to protect the lives and livelihoods of people from the approaching flood as the deluge may continue for prolonged period.

Required directives have been given to keep shelter centers readied in the 23 districts, he added.
Mentioning the prime minister’s constant supervision, Dr Enamur said 200 tonnes of rice, Taka 5,00,000 cash, Tk 2 lakh for child food, Tk 2 lakh for fodder (animal food) and 2000 packets of dry foods were sent to every flood-prone district last night as local administrations can stand beside the victims by reaching the relief goods in due time.

The state minister said Bangladesh is going through a tough situation as it has witnessed a short-term flood between June 26 and July 7 amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Flood situation became normal in 12 districts from July 7, he added He said directives have been given to keep readied maximum number of shelter centers in the flood-prone districts and to maintain social distancing and health guidelines, using face masks by those who will take refuge in the flood shelter centers amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

School and college buildings and establishments will be made flood shelter centers and the concerned local administrations have been asked to send information about the number of shelter centres and people who take refuge, he added.

The state minister called upon the people of the flood-prone areas not to worry as the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remains beside them in their well and woes. “There is no crisis of food as sufficient foods have been kept preserved,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) issued a notification giving directives to authorities concerned to urgently open up all educational institutions including schools and colleges in flood prone areas for the use of shelter centers.

Teachers, officers and employees of all offices and all government and non-government educational institutions under the DSHE in the flood prone areas have been asked to work in unison with local administration and flood management committees to extend necessary cooperation to them.

District education officers were asked to send the list of the number of institutions to be used as flood shelter centers to dsheflood2019@gmail, the concerned email of the directorate.

The education officers will have to send information if any institutions get damaged due to the ongoing flood mentioning description of the damages and approximate quantity of loss in Taka in a chart given by the DSHE.