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13 July, 2019 12:29:15 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 July, 2019 04:21:11 PM

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Floods worsen in thirteen districts

Major rivers spate; govt setting up 551 ‘risk-free centres’
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka with OUR CORRESPONDENTS
Floods worsen in thirteen districts
A woman is pictured standing on her yard which has been flooded in Lalmonirhat. New areas were flooded in the district yesterday with the Teesta River flowing 35cm above the danger level marooning about 50,000 villagers under 19 unions of the northern district. Star Mail photo

The flood situation in 13 eastern, southern and northern districts of the country worsened yesterday as all the major rivers kept flowing above the danger mark due to heavy rains and onrush of water from the upstream.

The most affected districts are Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Sherpur, Netrokona, Feni, Chattogram, Bandarban and Cox's Bazar, where new areas have become inundated, marooning thousands.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has instructed the authorities to make extensive preparations amid growing fears of flooding as heavy rain over the next few days have been forecast by the Met Office, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman yesterday.

Authorities have flagged 628 river points across the country as risky, including 26 'very risky' with relief operations underway, he said.

The water level of the River Jamuna is likely to rise further due to the swelling of the Brahmaputra in India. Also, the increase in the Ganga in Bihar could result in floods in the Padma basin, according to government sources.

The Teesta River was flowing 25 cm above the danger level at the Dalia point in Nilphamari district around 9am yesterday.

It already flooded the ‘char’ and low-lying areas under Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas.

In total, 15 unions under Nilphamari Sadar upazila have become waterlogged due to an incessant downpour.

The Bangladesh Water Development Board (Dimla division) executive engineer Mostafizur Rahman said they have asked the residents of risk-prone areas to move to safer places.

Nilphamari deputy commissioner Khaled Rahim said the flood situation has worsened in the Teesta’s downstream areas after the sluice gates of the Gajoldoba Barrage in India were opened to reduce the river’s rising water level.

Our Lalmonirhaat correspondent reports that the Teesta was flowing 35cm above the danger level at the Doani point yesterday noon.

Rabiul Islam, executive engineer of the Dalia point barrage, said all the sluice gates have been opened. An excessive flow of water has led to the inundation of low-lying land and char areas in Lalmonirhat, he said.

District relief and rehabilitation officer Ali Hayder said at least 950 packets of dry food, 150 metric tonnes of rice and Tk. 2.5 lakh would be distributed among the affected people after getting a list from the upazilas.

At least 12,000 families in the Dohogram union of Patgram upazila, Goddimari, Saniazan, Sindurna, Patikapara and Singimari in Hatibandha upazila; Mohishkhocha in Aditmari upazila, and Khuniagach, Rajpur, Gokunda, Kulaghat and Mogolhat unions in Sadar upazila have been stranded, he added.

Locals said heavy rain in the past five days has cut off the area from the district town. Children, elderly people and the disabled are facing an extremely difficult situation, mostly due to an acute shortage of drinking water.

Manik Mia, a resident of Mohishkhocha union under Aditmari upazila, said they are yet

to receive any relief yet from anyone.

Our Noakhali correspondent reports that at least 15 villages in Parshuram and Fulgazi upazilas of Feni in the southern part of the country have been marooned after embankments at eight points along the Muhuri, Kohua and the Silonia rivers collapsed due to heavy rainfall and landslides on Indian hills.

“Heavy rain and mudslides from the Indian hills raised the water level of the Muhuri River to a 2.17cm above danger level. As a result, embankments in at least eight points near the Muhuri, Kohua and the Silonia rivers got inundated,” Feni Water Development Board acting executive engineer Zahid Uddin told our correspondent.

He also said locals have been asked to remain alert and follow the announcements made through loudspeakers to prevent possible losses in the flood-affected areas.

“The collapse of the embankments on the Muhuri River has damaged the main road of Fulgazi upazila, sending at least seven villages under water. Major croplands, roads, schools and colleges have gone under water,” Fulgazi upazila chairman Abdul Alim said.

Parshuram UNO Mohammad Rasel-ul-Kader said that, besides continuous rainfall, landslides on the Indian hills have also contributed to the disaster.

Meanwhile, several cracks have been spotted on other embankments and the rising water levels are now threatening people living near the rivers.

Besides, constant rain and the heavy flow of water from the upstream have worsened the flood situation. Parts of Jhenigati Sadar and over 25 villages of Dhanshail, Kangsha, Hatibandha and Malijhikanda unions have been inundated.

Jhenigati UNO Rubel Mahmud said at least 10,000 people of five unions have been affected. The situation would improve once the rain stops, he added.

Our Sylhet correspondent reports that parts of the Goainghat upazila have gone under water following incessant rain over the past couple of days. Communication with Sadar  upazila and low-lying areas have been cut off due to the flooding.

Road communication has stopped in several villages of East Zaflong, Alirgaon, Rustompur, Doubari, Lengura, Toakul and Nandirgaon unions. On the other hand, erosion has made several dams in the area vulnerable.

Goainghat UNO Bishwajit Kumar Pal said the administration has been monitoring the overall situation. It has already started sending relief materials to every union of the upazila, he added.

The government has begun preparations to tackle floods, with

rivers in 10 districts of the country flowing above the danger level due to heavy rain.

In Habiganj, the Kushiara River was flowing 34cm above the danger level in Nabiganj of the district.

The river water is only 1 feet beneath the river protection embankment at Parkul, posing threat to Bibiyana Power Plant.

The local WDB office fears that the power plant might be affected if the water level continues to rise.

However, the WDB Executive Engineer said they were trying to protect the dam placing sand bags.

Relief in the form of 17,500 metric tonnes of rice, 50,000 packets of dry food and Tk 20.9 million have been sent to these districts.

The districts will each receive 500 tents and medical teams within the next few days, said state minister for disaster management and relief Enamur Rahman.   

The Prime Minister has instructed the authorities to make extensive preparations amid growing fears of flooding, said Enamur.  

“The Met office has forecast heavy rain over the next few days that could worsen the flood situation,” he added.

The situation has deteriorated over the past 24 hours in the Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Chattogram, Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar and Nilphamari districts, said the state minister.

Enamur Rahman said the authorities have flagged 628 river points across the country as risky. Of these, 26 have been marked as ‘very risky’.

“The water resources ministry has instructed the authorities concerned to take appropriate measures at these points. Work is underway to prepare 551 risk-free centres,” said the state minister.

MK/MK

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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