Lakhs marooned, crops on vast areas damaged
Padma, Jamuna in spate, other major rivers continue to rise
Published : Monday, 15 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 748
Flood situation in many districts including Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Bogura, Jamalpur, Sunamganj and Netrakona aggravated on Saturday.
Major rivers of the country continued to rise across the country amid predictions of heavy downpours, our correspondents and agencies report.
The authorities have intensified measures to alleviate sufferings of fllod- stricken people and ordered cancelling of holidays for the officials and employees concerned for flood control and embankment protection.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) in its latest bulletin in the evening said all the major rivers 'are in rising trend' excepting the Surma in south-eastern Sylhet region but it could start rising again depending on rainfalls.
"The rain-fed rivers in all the four main basins of Meghna, Brahmaputra and Ganges - covering the north-eastern, northern, north-western and central Bangladesh are on the verge of surpassing their bank lines at different places," an FFWC spokesman said.
He added the rising trend of rivers in Brahmaputra and Meghna basins including the Dharla, Kangsha, Surma and Kushiyara appeared 'rapid' which were likely to submerge floodplains in greater Sylhet and greater Rangpur in next 24 hours.
Out of 93 river-monitoring points across the country, water levels in 25 points exceeded the danger marks so far, FFWC said.
The Met Office, meanwhile, largely substantiated the FFWC predictions of near simultaneous further rise of rivers.
Meteorologists said they tallied their data with met office in upstream India which suggested widespread 'medium to heavy rainfall' and 'very heavy rainfall' in northern, north-eastern Bangladesh alongside adjoining Assam and Meghalaya states in next 24 to 48 hours.
They said there were chances of medium to heavy rainfall in India's Bihar and Nepal adjacent to Bangladesh's north-western region to inflate further the common streams.
The FFWC said the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma rivers were likely to rise further in the next 72 hours and the Jamuna River at Sirajganj 'may cross danger level in next 24 hours'.
"Flood situation in Netrokona, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra and Sirajganj districts may deteriorate in next 24 hours," the centre warned.
The bulletin, however, expected the water level to recede in Chattogram, Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts in the coming hours.
"Until now the situation has not become alarming, but we are getting ready to face a major deluge," State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman told journalists. But he added the number of affected districts overnight stood at 15 while the figure was 10 yesterday (Saturday) as flood hit five fresh ones including some in central parts of the country.
At least 1.12 lakh people were marooned in Gaibandha as flood situation in chars and river basin areas of the Brahmaputra and the Teesta rivers in the district worsened further as the rivers marked rise during the last 24 hours till Saturday evening.
"The fresh areas of chars and the river basin of 23 unions of Sundarganj, Sadar Fulchhari and Saghata upazila were submerged affecting more than 1.20 lakh people," said NDC and Acting District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer M Shaheedul Islam. As many as 11,253 flood affected people of the upazilas took shelter in 20 flood shelter centres with their belongings including domestic animals and poultry birds.
Due to flood, standing crops in over 500 hectares of land particularly Aus paddy, Aman seed bed, T-Aman land, and summer vegetables went under flood water, said Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension Dr SM Ferdous.
A total of 120 government primary schools of the upazilas were closed and academic activities have been suspended temporarily as the flood water entered the schools, said M. Hossain Ali, District Primary Education Officer.
Officials said leakages were found in different places of flood protection embankment from Jumabari to Haripur, prompting the BWDB to take emergency maintenance works at vulnerable points through filling up earth and sand bags.
Onrush of water from upstream region and heavy rainfall triggered floods in 15 char areas under Nilphamari district leaving over 20,000 families stranded.
Flood situation in Nilphamari district is gradually deteriorating as the water level of Teesta has increased sharply in the past 24 hours.
Low-lying areas in the district were flooded as water levels in the major rivers rose sharply, Md Abdullah Al Mamun, Executive Engineer of Water Development Board of Nilphamari said.
Flood has inundated a total of 80 villages in Bogura district, causing immense sufferings for people.
Azahar Ali Mandal, an official of district administration, said, "Low-lying areas at 80 villages in Bogura district were flooded as the water level in the Jamuna river is increasing gradually due to onrush of water from the upstream."
Standing crops on 568 hectares of land in Sariakandi and Sonatali upazilas went under water, Azahar said adding, "Nearly 60,000 people were badly affected by the flood and a large number of houses partially or completely damaged.
A total of 23 educational institutions under Sonatali and Sariakandi upazilas were shut down due to floodwater, he added.
Flood situation in Jamalpur district deteriorated further as water level of the Jamuna has increased sharply during the past 24 hours till Sunday evening.
Water Development Board (WDB) sources said the Jamuna river is flowing 81cm above its danger mark at Bahadurabad.
Nearly 70,000 people have been affected by flood, they said, adding more areas in the district will be inundated, if rising trend of Jamuna river continues.
Jamalpur office of Department of Agricultural Extension said flood water submerged standing crops on 1246 hectares of land in district.
Of them, 128 hectares are Aman paddy, 285 hectares Aus paddy, 275 hectares jute, 551 hectares vegetable and 7 hectares Chilli.
District Primary Education Officer Md Shahidul Islam confirmed the news of shutting down 66 primary schools and other educational institutions.
About 1.04 lakh people in Sunamganj district are now reeling from the danger of flood while unofficially the number is higher with the rise of Surma River 88cm above the danger level.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Faridul Haque said, the government had opened ten shelter centers but the affected people are not coming to the centers leaving behind their homes and property.
The flood situation in Barhatta, Kalmakanda and Purbadhala upazilas of Netrakona district worsened with the swelling of two major rivers - Kangso and Ubdakhali.
District administration and Water Development Board (WDB) office sources said more than 100 villages under 16 unions of the four upazilas were inundated.
With 2,000 families affected by floodwater, as many as 100 educational institutions were closed by the authorities, they said.
Executive Engineer of WDB Pijush Kundu said, "Water level of Padma at Kushtia point has increased by five centimeters in the past four days. Although the Padma river is in rising trend, we are predicting that flood would not affect the district."