Friday, August 23, 2019 | ePaper

New areas go under water

73,000 houses, crops on 36,000 hectares damaged: Over 900 villages devastated in Sirajganj: Situation in Sherpur, Gaibandha deteriorates

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People move along a flooded road in Gaibandha on Thursday.

News Desk :
The flood situation in Bogra, Sirajganj, Tangail, Manikganj, Faridpur and Munshiganj districts may deteriorate further as Jamuna and Padma rivers may continue to rise in the next 24 hours.
On the other hand, the flood situation in Netrokona, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Habiganj and Moulvibazar districts may continue to improve during the same period, according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).
All the major rivers of the country are in rising trend except the Brahmaputra basin and the rivers of north-eastern region, it said.
Around 73,400 houses and 36,00 hectares of crops have been damaged by the floods in 21 districts, causing immense sufferings to thousands of people. 
In sherpur, the sudden swelling of the Old Brahmaputra River has led to the inundation of new Char areas, croplands and houses in the district, triggering fears of a devastating flood.
Water Development Board said the river rose by three feet within 24 hours and was flowing just below the danger level at Sherpur Ferryghat Point at 6:00am on Thursday.
Sherpur's relief office said 172 villages in 35 unions of five upazilas had been flooded after heavy rains in the country and upstream regions adjacent to Bangladesh, leaving at least 63,000 people stranded.
Anowara Begum, the district's fisheries officer, said the flooding of ponds and fish enclosures have caused an estimated damage of Tk 5.18 crores.
Fifty-two educational institutions have been forced to suspend academic activities after they had gone under water.
The rising water is also causing panic among the people. Locals said new areas were suddenly submerged after 8:00pm on Wednesday and the Sherpur-Jamalpur Highway Porar Dokan diversion had gone under knee deep water within the night.
In Gaibandha, the normal life came to grinding halt after the district town went under water on Wednesday night, causing untold sufferings to thousands of its residents.    The town was inundated after gushing water breached 20 points of the city embankment.
Roksana Begum, the acting Deputy Commissioner of the district, said the administration is trying to repair the damaged parts.
At the confluence of the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers, the water was flowing nearly six feet (191cm) above the danger level at Fulchhari point, said Mokhlesur Rahman, Executive Engineer of the Water Development Board. People in the town were mostly forced to stay indoors. The district's rail communications with the northern parts remained suspended for the second consecutive yesterday.
More than 700 schools across the district have been shut down. Some of them are being used as shelters but they lack food, drinking water and sanitation facility.
In rural areas, people are sharing shelters with their livestock but the shortage of fodder is turning out to be a headache for them. Many people have taken shelter on boats in Char areas. Municipality Mayor Syed Jahangir Kabir Milon said they are trying to protect the town and its residents. The municipality is providing one meal a day to people in dire need, he said. Although the situation shows no sign of improvement, WDB official Mokhlesur is optimistic that the floodwater will start receding at night as there is no rain now.
In Sirajganj, more than 900 villages in the low-lying areas of the district have been devastated by floods as the Jamuna River continues to swell due to torrential rains and the onrush of water from the upstream. Flooding has already affected thousands of people from 21,552 families in those villages, the district's relief and rehabilitation official said.
The waters have inundated and damaged homes, roads, educational institutions, and crop fields in these villages.
Within last 24 hours, the Jamuna River has risen by 23cm at the Sirajganj point and it has been flowing over 91cm above the danger level, said Shafiqul Islam, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board.   
Flash floods have affected the low-lying villages of Sirajganj due to the rise of the water level, said district relief and rehabilitation officer Abdul Rahim. "At least 936 villages, including Kazipur, Sadar, Belkuchi, Enayetpur and Shahjadpur, have already been inundated, leaving thousands of residents from 21,552 families stranded."
The district administration has granted 494 tonnes of rice and Tk 800,000 to distribute among the stricken families, he said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said there is no chance of heavy rainfall in the upstream states of Bangladesh in next 48 hours.
The Brahmaputra River may fall, while the Jamuna may continue rising in next 24 hours. The Ganges-Padma rivers may continue rising in next 48 hours.
The Lakhya river at Lakhpur may cross danger level in next 24 hours and flood situation in Kurigram, Jamalpur and Gaibandha districts may remain stable.
In Brahmaputra basin, Dharla in Kurigram and Ghagot at Gaibanda were flowing above danger level while Teesta, Jamuneswari, Karatoa all are flowing below the danger level at all point.
The Brahmaputra was above danger level at Noonkhwa and Chilmari and the Jamuna was flowing above danger level all points except Aricha. Atrai at Bagabari was flowing avove 27 cm above danger level while Dhaleswari was flowing 51 cm above danger level at Elasin point. In the Meghna basin, Surma is flowing 86 cm above at kanaighat, 44 cm at Sylhet, 55 cm at Sunamganj. The Kushiyara was flowing 77 cm above danger level at Amalshid, 70 cm above at Sheola, 50 cm above Sherpur.
The Manu at Moulavibazar, Oldsurma at Derai, Someswari at Kalmakanda, Kngsha at Jariajanjail and Titas at B'Baria are flowing above danger level. All other rivers of the Meghn basin marked much below the danger level.
Flood situation substantially improved in the South Estern Hil Basia as Muhuri, Feni, halda, Karnaphuli, Sangiu and Matamuhuri are flowing much below the danger level.
In Mymensingh, the flood situation of Haluaghat and Dhobura upazila improved significantly during the last 12 hours as the river Netie now is flowing below the danger marks.
District Relief and Rehabilitation (DRRO) office sources said the flood water has been decreasing sharply from the low lying areas.
A total of 357 hectares of standing crops were destroyed including 1,150 hectares of Aman seed beds, 200 hectares of standing Aus crops and 20 hectares of different vegetables.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has decided to remain open on Friday and Saturday for the overall coordination and supervision of the flood situation that has worsened in different districts in last couple of days, according to a notice of the ministry.

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