Thousands marooned as flood situations worsen


Thousands of people have been marooned as incessant rainfall for last few days coupled with onrush of hilly water triggered flooding in the country’s northern and northeastern districts.

Flood situations continued to worsen in the low-lying areas of the northeastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona and the northern districts of Kurigram, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur and Gaibandha, Natore and the north central Jamalpur till filing of this report on Sunday night, destroying homes and crop fields.

Heavy rainfall also brought sufferings to the flood-hit people those left home and took shelter on roads or moved to safe places in addition to the shortage of foods and drinking water.

Local administrations in the most of flood-hit areas continued to distribute relief materials with officials in the rest areas preparing it.

According to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), meteorological department, and our local correspondents, water levels of all major rivers was in upper the Meghna basin, and the rising trend might continue in Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Padma river following huge onrush of water from the upstream and heavy downpour.

“Heavy rains are expected in the next few days in Assam, Meghalaya and other parts of India. If water increases again pressure will rise on the main rivers in Bangladesh,” said Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, Chief engineer of the FFWC.

Consequently, waters might cross the danger mark in the Brahmaputra inundating new areas.
Flood may continue for long time inundating major parts of low-lying areas and haor and water bodies, the FFWC warned.
Citing Bangladesh and India met offices, the FFWC on Sunday said heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur in the northern and northeastern regions in Bangladesh and adjoining Indian northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya and trans-Himalayan West Bengal and Bihar in the next 24 hours.

At present the water of Teesta is flowing at Dalia, the water of Jamuna at Fulchhari, the water of Surma at Kanaighat, Sunamganj, the water of Sarigoain at Sarighat, the water of Jadukata at Lorergarh and the water of Gur river at Singra.
The meteorological office had earlier said there is a risk of major floods in mid-July due to increased rainfall.

According to a forecast, the monsoon axis extends from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and northern Bangladesh to Assam. An extension of it extends to the North Bay. The monsoon is active over Bangladesh and is prevailing in the North Bay.

By Monday evening, light to moderate rain or thundershowers with temporary gusts are likely in most parts of Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions and in many parts of Khulna and Barisal divisions. Moderate to heavy rains also may occur in parts of the country.

Meanwhile, the met office has advised Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra seaports to hoist signal no. 3 and asked the water vehicles to stay in the North Bay to move cautiously on the coast until further notice.
Officials said the rainfall may decrease at the end of the week.

Flood preparedness
The government has taken all-out preparations to face the flash flood as the situation may deteriorate further in different parts of the country.

Following the directives from Prime Minister Office’s (PMO), deputy commissioners took integrated initiatives, involving local public representatives and officials, to deal with the worsening situations amid the growing coronavirus outbreak, officials at the disaster management and relief ministry said.

The Ministry of Water Resources opened a control room to monitor and collect information on the flood situations across the country. A mobile number – 01318234560 – has been unveiled that will remain open from 9am to 8pm daily.

A notice was issued by the ministry on the matter, said Asif Ahmed, public relations officer of water resources ministry.
In-charge of the control room were asked to coordinate with the PMO’s National Disaster Monitoring Cell and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief on overall issues including flood situation.

Medical teams have also been dispatched to treat the people in the flood-hit areas.
Besides, necessary measures have been taken to protect and repair embankments, and assess the damages.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief also allocated 100,000 tonnes of rice under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) 

programme on the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha with people from flood-hit area being given the priority.
“Officials are working in coordination with the district administrations to deal with the flood situations,” said State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk

“We have been receiving reports round the clock and geobags are ready in case of emergency,” he added.
Situations in Dhaka

As there is no protection dam on the east side of Dhaka city, flash flood may inundate parts of the capital including Demra and Banasree, FFWC’s Arifuzzaman said.

if the water level in the rivers surrounding Dhaka increased, the city may face waterlogging, he warned.
Arifuzzaman further said that water in Buriganga, Turag and Shitalakshya rivers has already increased with flood hitting in Dhaka’s Dohar and low-lying areas of Munshiganj.

More low-lying areas in Dhaka and Narayanganj are also at a great risk of flood, he added.