Flood water rolls into fresh areas
Major rivers cross danger level: Teesta swelling worries authorities
Published : Sunday, 14 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 760
Floods have ravaged 10 districts of the country, inundating fresh areas and more are feared to be affected over the next few days as rivers have swelled amid incessant rains and flash flood from upstream marooning thousands of people.
The deluge may spread to the central region and push people to the edge by land erosion and threaten dams, according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of the Water Development Board.
The situation in Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Chattogram, Bandarban, Cox's Bazar and Nilphamari districts worsened on Friday while Chandpur, Sirajganj, Kurigram and Jamalpur were bracing for floods.
Flood situation in Kurigram has worsened as water of the Dharla and Brahmaputra rivers were flowing above danger mark, leaving 1.50 lakh people trapped in floodwater.
The water of the two rivers were flowing 62 and 49 centimeters respectively above the danger level at around 6:00pm on Saturday.
According to sources in Kurigram flood control room, as many as 28,182 families of nine upazilas of the district have been trapped in floodwater. Around 725 families have become homeless in river erosion.
The country's major rivers overnight crossed the danger level on
Saturday in 11 more points across the country as all the four of the country's major basins continued to rise, largely due to incessant downpours.
Water level in the Teesta River is flowing over the danger level since its level has increased. Several villages nearby the Teesta Barrage have flooded breaking the dams built at two sides of the river. The officials claimed that the flood may remain for four to five days.
The flood by-pass might be taken down to control water level and a red alert has already been issued in the area, the Bangladesh Water Development Board officials claimed.
Meanwhile, at least two people were killed in Raikhali Union in Kaptai upazila of Rangamati district when a landslide collapsed on a running CNG-run auto-rickshaw carrying the two passengers, according to local police officials.
Due to huge water flow from the upstream, most of the areas of northern district Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur and Gaibandha went under water. As a result, a huge number of people of districts remained marooned.
FFWC spokesperson Pritom Kumar Sarkar told this correspondent on Saturday that the water levels in all the four basins are rising, but the rivers in Meghna and Brahmaputra basins particularly in the Teesta sub-basin are swelling at a faster pace due to upstream water flow.
The two basins cover the northern, northeastern and parts of the central Bangladesh, crisscrossed by 54 major rivers mostly originating from upstream regions in India, Nepal and China.
Pritom Kumar said out of some 90 points, water levels in 23 points exceeded the danger marks overnight while the figure was 12 late yesterday. The rise in the Ganges basin appeared slower while in the South Eastern Hill basin particularly in Bandarban was slowing down.
He said the Teesta River was swelling fast due to heavy downpour in the upstream Indian region while the Sangu River in Bandarban was receding as the downpour in the upper riparian Indian region stopped for the time being.
The Met Office, meanwhile, on Saturday claimed that active monsoon was likely to trigger further heavy (44-88mm) to very heavy (more than 89mm) rainfall over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chattogram divisions during next 24 hours commencing at 10:00am Saturday.
The Met Office also forecast heavy downpour to cause landslide in the southeastern hill region.
Hydrologists said generally 50mm or above rainfall in one day cause stress on local drainage system leading to localized flood while 300mm or more rainfall in consecutive 10 days impedes the drainage and cause rain-fed floods.
Due to heavy rainfall in Dhaka and Chattogram areas, most of the lower lands of the two major cities of the country were gone under water. As a result, the people of two cities have to face huge sufferings. In some areas, most of the shops and malls went under water.
According to the BWDB officials, the current water level at the Teesta Barrage has been set at above 50cm of the danger level in the districts of Lalmonirhat and Nilpharamari.
Water Development Board's Deputy Assistant Engineer Aminur Rashid of Dalia claimed that the water at Lalmonirhat has been flowing 53.13cm above of danger level since Saturday morning. The 44 sluice gates at the Teesta barrage have been opened, and the water level continues rising.
"There is definite danger since Teesta water level has increased. The flood may remain for four to five days," he said, adding that the flood by-pass might be taken down to control water level and a red alert has already been issued.
He also informed that they have already started relocating the people living in the danger areas nearby the barrage. The administration has already started making public announcement over loudspeakers in the area to take the distressed people to safer places. They are doing everything needed to make the process safe.
Lalmonirhat Additional Deputy Commissioner Ahsan Habib told this correspondent they are monitoring the overall flood situation closely. So far, everything was under control. The people of the flooded area are being given necessary relief aid.
Lalmonirhat-1 lawmaker Motahar Hossain said that six unions have already been flooded and thousands are stuck there and in grave crisis. They have contacted Dhaka for relief allocation and the district administration has been ordered to take necessary steps.
Meanwhile, the water level at Nilphamari district is 50cm above danger level and almost 15 chars have been flooded with almost 75,000 people in crisis.
Water Development Board Sub-Divisional Engineer Hafizul Haque told this correspondent that a dam at Jaldhaka upazila has cracked and four unions are at a risk of flooding if it breaks. They have found a 60m crack in the dam, he added.
A dam at Dimla upazila has completely broken down forcing nearly 2000 families to relocate to a safe place. The local administration has already taken necessary steps in this regard, he added.
On the other hand, the river Ghagot is also flowing just below their respective danger marks this morning. Officials of BWDB said the water levels of the major rivers flowing through the district rose sharply due to incessant rain and onrush of hilly waters from the upstream.
According to the BWDB sources, water levels in the Brahmaputra rose by 46 cm, the Teesta 18 cm, the Ghagot 43 cm, the Karatoa 03 cm during the period. Of those, the Brahmaputra was flowing 25 cm above its danger level at Fulchharighat point of the district this morning.
The Ghagot was flowing 01cm below the danger mark at New Bridge Road point of the Gaibandha district, the Teesta 03cm at Kaunia point of Rangpur and the Karotoa 162cm at Katakhali Bridge point of Gobindaganj upazila in Gaibandha.
With the rise of water level in the Brahmaputra river, the river basin areas of Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari and Saghata upazila under Ganibandha had been inundated and the standing crops particularly jute and summer vegetables went under flood water.
Apart from this, flowing rise of water level in the river, the erosion took serious turn at many places along the western sides of the river including Horipur, Kapasia and Kamarjani of the district creating immense sufferings and much anxiety to the erosion victims and also making the river bank people threatened.
Executive Engineer of BWDB Mokhlesur Rahman said as the Brahmaputra was flowing over its danger mark, the officials and the employees of the board had been kept alert and vigil there to protect the embankment from any kind of destruction.
As the Ghagot River was also flowing just below its danger level, security measures had also been tightened at the town protection embankment so that any vested quarters could not cut it to create immense sufferings of the Gaibandha municipality, he also said.
Gaibandha DC Abdul Matin said the district and the upazila administrations had got ready with relief materials and manpower to address the flood situation in the district efficiently.
They were also monitoring the situation closely and briefing the higher authority concerned about the latest situation and its doings side by side with opening a control room at the DC office to help inform the people about floods, the DC added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asked the government officials and party leaders to take all sorts of preparation to tackle possible flood in the country and provide necessary assistance to the distressed people.
"We've our preparations everywhere to tackle the disaster. We can face any kind of exigency. But, we must remain alert so that flood can't harm people," the Prime Minister added while addressing a function at her office marking signing of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) of the ministries and subordinate bodies.