Severe flood threat looms

Major rivers cross danger marks

A severe flash flood threat looms large across the country’s northwest, north and northeast regions with major rivers in spate following the onrush of hilly water coupled with heavy rain, experts forecast on Saturday.

Due to the increase in rainfall in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, and in the hilly areas bordering those areas, the water level of major rivers is increasing. The water of some rivers is flowing above the danger mark. Again, some rivers are expected to cross the danger line by Sunday (today).

In this situation, the lower areas in eight districts of the country have been flooded. The Water Development Board (WDB) Flood Forecast and Warning Center fears that the flood situation will worsen in the next three days.

WDB executive engineer, Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said that at present the water of Dharala and Teesta is flowing over the danger mark. The water level of all major rivers including Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Padma, Surma, Kushiara, Khowai, Monu, Meghna and Sangu is also increasing. This trend will continue till next Monday.

The waters of the most flood-prone rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Jamuna, could rise far above the danger level by Sunday. As a result, the water level at Bahadurabad, Jamalpur, Sariakandi, Kazipur and Sirajganj points will be exceeding the danger level.
According to Kurigram Water Development Board (WDB), Dharla flowed 8cm above the danger level at Bridge Point while Brahmaputra flowed 4cm above the danger level at Chilmari point at 12pm on Friday.

Ariful Islam said there is possibility of flood in the region if water increases in Brahmaputra at the end of June.
According to local administrations, char areas of Nageshwari and Sadar upazilas have already gone under water affecting over 20,000 families.

Some areas in Bhurungamari, Chilmari, Roumari, Rajibpur and Ulipur upazilas were also submerged.
According to the district Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Aush on 37 hectares of land, sesame on 93 hectares and green chili on six hectares were damaged by flood in Kurigram Sadar and Roumari upazila.

Meanwhile, the water of all the rivers of Sylhet is also rising due to the continuous rains and onrush of water from slopes of hills in the upper reaches. Water is flowing at two points on the Surma and Sari rivers.

The lower reaches of three upazilas along the river have been inundated due to rising water. Thousands of people in these areas have been marooned. Many rural roads including Sari-Gowainghat road have been submerged. Due to this, the road communication with the Upazila Sadar has been closed since Friday (June 26).

According to the WDB, water is flowing over the danger line at Kanaighat point of Surma and Sarighat point of Sari river. Besides, the water level of Sylhet point of Surma, Amalshid of Kushiara, Sheola, Sherpur and Fenchuganj points and border river Lobachara and Piain river is continuously increasing.

If the upstream rains continue, the water level at these points will rise further in the next 24 hours. At the same time, it is feared that many new areas may be submerged.

Meanwhile, due to heavy rainfall in the last couple of days in Assam in India, the major rivers of the district including mighty Brahmaputra are in spate in the district.

According to the Hindu, floods in Assam have claimed the 16th human life since May 22 as the rising water level displaced more than 2.52 lakh people across 16 districts on Friday.

Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said a person drowned in Tengakhat area of Dibrugarh early on Friday morning, taking the death toll to 37. Of these, 16 died by drowning while landslides buried 21.

Eight rivers including the Brahmaputra have been flowing above the danger level, threatening to inundate more areas, officials said.

Heavy rains have been falling in upstream of Bangladesh including Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya for the last few days.
However, Water Development Board northern region chief Jyoti Prasad Ghosh said that the rapid swelling was caused by the onrush of water from India that opened all 54 gates of the Gajaldoba barrage on Friday morning.

This is the second time since June 20 that the two major northern rivers overflowed their banks inundating vast crop fields and eroding dozens of houses with water levels rapidly receding and swelling.

A Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre bulletin predicted that the Jamuna River might cross the danger marks at five points — Fulchhari, Bahadurabad, Sariakandi, Kazipur and Sirajganj — until 9:00am Sunday.

The Surma River may cross the danger levels at Kanaighat and Sunamganj points and the Sariwain River at Saraighat point by 9:00am Saturday, said the FFWC forecast.

The FFWC forecast predicted that the Teesta and Dharla would continue to flow above their danger marks with flooding likely to deteriorate in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Sylhet and Sunamganj.

The FFWC had already predicted flooding in three major river basins in the country from Saturday because of the heavy cross-border rains. The FFWC recorded the country’s highest 153 mm rainfall in the 24 hours until 9:00am Friday in Sunamganj.

The northern districts of Panchagarh and Thakurgaon also received 100 mm or more rains during the same period while very heavy rains occurred at many places in Sylhet division.

In the upstream, the highest rainfall of 332 mm was recorded at Cherapunji during the same time, according to the FFWC.
The Bangladesh Meteorological Department advised people in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Bogura to brace for heavy to very heavy rains.

The medium-range outlook also predicted that the Padma River would cross the danger marks at Bhagyakul, Munshiganj, and Goalondo, Rajbari, in the next five days.