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Recurrent rains may cause lingering floods

Published : 01 Jul 2022 10:25 PM

Experts and officials are predicting longer duration of flood as major rivers and their tributaries in both Brahmaputra and Meghna basins are overflowing due to incessant rains.  

 "Both northern and northeastern parts of Bangladesh this year witnessed severe flooding, which is the worst one since 2004... The devastating flood started on June 15 and it was getting improving trend after a weeklong wrath of the deluge," an official of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) told BSS.

But the flood situation in north and northwestern is getting worse again after swelling of major rivers as inside Bangladesh and upstream regions recorded heavy downpour in the past several days, said Md. Arifuzzaman Bhuyan, executive engineer of the FFWC.

 Water levels at 61 river stations monitored by Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) have marked rise while 41 stations recorded fall.  Among the 109 monitored river stations, seven have been registered steady while water levels at eight stations are flowing above the danger level, a bulletin issued by the FFWC said Friday. 

The Dharla at Kurigram, the Brahmaputra at Hatia, the Surma at Kanaighat, the  Kushiyara at Amalshid and Sheola, the Old Surma at Derai, the Baulai at Khaliajuri and the Someswari at Kalmakanda are flowing above the danger level 

by 06cm, 21cm, 64cm, 84cm, 32cm, 17cm, 03cm and 38 cm respectively.

 Significant rainfall was recorded at some stations in different districts during the last 24 hours ending at 9 am Friday, the bulletin added.

 A total of 122 mm (millimeter) rainfalls were recorded at Jariajanjail and 53mm at Lalakhal (Sylhet). Significant rainfalls (mm) recorded during last 24 hours in Sikkim, Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura regions of North-East India, the bulletin added.

A total of 41mm rainfalls were recorded at Cherrapunji (Meghalaya), 109mm at 

Jalpaiguri (West Bangal) and 98 mm at Dibrugarh (Assam).

Brahmaputa river is in steady state, while the Jamuna river is rising trend, the FFWC bulletin said adding that both the rivers may rise in next 24 hours. The Ganges-Padma river is in rising trend, which may continue in next 48 hours, it added. 

Waterborne diseases are spreading in the flood-hit regions of Bangladesh as 

floodwater started receding.

"Many people are suffering from diarrhoea, skin diseases, dysentery, cholera 

and other waterborne diseases," Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) 

sources said.

In the past 24 hours, a total of 487 people have been affected by diarrhoea in four flood-hit divisions -- Sylhet, Rangpur, Chattogram and Mymensingh -- while 72 people have also suffered from skin diseases, a press release issued by the DGHS said.

To provide healthcare supports to the flood affected regions of the country, as many as 2,048 medical teams have been working since beginning of the flood, it added.

In Sylhet district, vast swathes of Sylhet region were hardly hit by devastating flood this year, officials and local people added.

Roughly five millions of people were marooned during the flood, they said adding: "A large of number of people still have been marooned by the floodwater."

Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Md Mojibor Rahman told BSS as many as 29,99,433 people in the district have been affected by the ongoing flood while around 40,000 people are still living at flood shelters. 

 He said relief materials including rice, dry food, medicines, and drinking water are being distributed among the people in the flood-hit areas. 

 In Sunamganj, nearly 30 lakh people have been badly affected by the devastating flood and the hard hit district is still reeling from the slow improvement of receding floodwater. Local administration as well as non-government organizations is continuing relief operation for reducing suffering of flood victims. 

Monsoon rains and gushing waters from upstream India worsened Bangladesh 

flood situation with experts calling it one of the worst floods while millions of people have been affected by the deluge, the executive engineer of the FFWC said.

Northeastern and northern parts of Bangladesh may witness prolonged flood as 

record breaking rainfalls were recorded inside Bangladesh and upstream states of India during the ongoing flood situation.

 "We have seen that both Bangladesh and upstream states of Meghalaya and Assam 

and western Himalayan regions of India recorded heavy rainfall, the highest over 100 years," Professor Md Mansur Rahman of Institute of Water and Flood  Management of BUET said.

Major rivers and their tributaries of Bangladesh have no capacity to contain 

such huge volume of rains, which ultimately has caused massive flooding in 

northeastern and northern regions of the country, he added.

Mansur said there is a huge gap between Bangladesh and upstream regions of 

India in terms of elevation from sea level. "So, onrush of water enters 

Bangladesh with a faster pace, which inundated vast areas of the country in a 

shorter time," he added.

The hydrologist said a large number of embankments have been built in both 

Bangladesh and Indian regions to control flow of water of major rivers which 

are the main reasons for increasing frequency of flooding.

The ongoing flood in Meghna basin may prolong as "The only exit point of 

flood water is Bhairab at the Megna river will take much time to pass such 

huge volume of flood water into the Bay of Bangal... meaning flood in 

northeastern region is likely to be prolonged, if the heavy downpour continue."