Thousands marooned as flood worsens


Thousands of people are marooned in 20 north, northeast and central regions of the country as flood situation deteriorated further in 14 districts on Wednesday.

According to Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) officials, the second phase of flood could affect some more districts in the next several days while the deluge may continue at a stretch till the end of this month. Moreover, the floods may prolong in the next month too. The situation depends on the rainfall and water level of major rivers.

Meanwhile, cyclone shelter centers have been set up in flood-hit areas. The government has taken several initiatives to distribute relief goods and medicines to deal with water-borne diseases.

The flood situation deteriorated in 20 districts including Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Sirajganj, Faridpur, Sirajganj, Sherpur, Sunamganj and Tangail on Tuesday.

According to the Flood Forecasting & Warning Centre (FFWC) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), water of some 10 rivers in the country has been flowing above the danger mark.

Many houses and roads in the flood-hit areas have been submerged. Communication is also being disrupted. There is a scarcity of pure drinking water in these areas. Moreover, river erosions continue in different areas.

Meanwhile, water-borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and typhoid have been reported in many places. The government is providing medicines and pure water to combat water-borne diseases.

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Rezaul Karim said more than 1.5 lakh people in 56 unions of 9 upazilas of Kurigram are stranded. The district administration has allocated 160 metric tons of rice, Tk 8 lakh and 2,000 packets of dry food. An allocation of Tk 1 crore has been sought for another 100 metric tonnes of rice and dry food.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, from July 1 to July 13, 8,210 tonnes of rice, Tk 2,82,50,000, 74,000 packets of dry food, Tk 48 lakh for cattle feed and Tk 48 lakh for baby food were allocated in the flood-hit districts.

A letter has been sent to the deputy commissioners of flood-hit areas on July 10 to help the affected people. Besides, a letter has been sent to the agriculture officials to send a list determining the amount of damage of crops and fish farms due to the floods.

The State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Enamur Rahman said, “The government is always beside the marooned people to help them out. As per the requirements of the deputy commissioners, adequate relief assistance and cash have been provided all over the country.”

FFWC predicted the overall flood situation may further worsen in northern districts including Kurigram, Gaibandha and Dinajpur, northwestern Natore and Naogaon, north-central Bogura, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Tangail and central districts including Munshiganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Dhaka in the next 24 hours.

Water levels of major rivers were flowing above the danger marks (DMs) at 23 points – 15 in Brahmaputra basin, six in the upper Meghna and two in Padma basin till 9am Tuesday while water levels at 64 river stations out of total 101 marked a rise, monitored by FFWC. On the other hand, 34 river stations recorded fall and three others remained steady during that period, FFWC added.

In the upper Meghna basin, major rivers in the northeastern region except Kushiyara were in rising trend till 9am on Wednesday and it may continue in the next 48 hours. But, the flood situation may improve in northeastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona in the next 24 hours.

In the upper Brahmaputra basin, the flood situation marked a significant improvement alongside the river Teesta in Nilphamari during the period and deteriorated in three upazilas of Rangpur and adjoining districts of Lalmonirhat.

Major rivers were flowing above the danger mark (DM) at 10 points in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura and Sirajganj till 9 am on Wednesday due to an increase rate of onrushing water from the upstream and heavy rainfall inundating new areas during the period, BWDB officials said.

Chief Engineer for Rangpur Zone of BWDB Jyoti Prosad Ghosh said water levels of the Teesta and Dharla rivers might start receding in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari in the next 24 hours.

“The flood control embankments and structures are remaining safe in Rangpur zone of BWDB in Rangpur division,” Ghosh said, adding that riverbank protection works are underway now at around 50 points in the zone.

According to FFWC, the recorded rainfalls were 155 millimeters (MM) at Kurigram, 58mm at Cox’s Bazar, 55mm at Sylhet, 107mm at Noakhali, 55mm at Bandarban, 55mm at Dalia, 92mm at Teknaf, 55mm at Lalakhal and 52mm at Chilmari station in the last 24 hours till 9am on Wednesday in the downstream.

During that period, 49mm rainfall was recorded at Cherrapunji and 44mm at Gangtok stations of the northwestern Indian states of Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura in the upstream.

Bangladesh Metrological Department predicted that light to moderate rain is likely to occur at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions and at a few places over Rajshahi and Dhaka divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over the country.

On Wednesday, it said that the rainfall may decrease gradually in the next 72 hours while the axis of monsoon runs through Rajsthan, Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal to Assam across central part of Bangladesh.