• Saturday, Sep 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:39 am

Thousands marooned in coastal areas seek aid

  • Published at 11:06 pm July 29th, 2021
teknaf flood
A total of 28 government-built houses were handed over to the homeless near the coastal embankment road east of Moulvibazar in Hnila union, which have now all been flooded Dhaka Tribune

Fish, crab farms washed away in Khulna, Bagerhat

The authorities are working to increase support for the flood-affected people of the coastal districts, mainly Khulna and Bagerhat, as they have remained stranded for the last few days due to the rise in water levels caused by incessant rains.

Hundreds of thousands of houses, fish farms, croplands and roads have been submerged, causing huge sufferings for the coastal people, who are yet to recover from the losses from Cyclone Yaas that hit the coastal region in May this year.

Meanwhile, the flood situation in Cox's Bazar district remained unchanged on Thursday. Landslides and floods in the district have killed at least 20 people, including Rohingya refugees, in the past three days. 

Moreover, the Bakkhali and Matamuhuri rivers — the main rivers of the district — are currently flowing above danger level.

According to official estimates, at least 250,000 people have become stranded. Floodwaters swept across rural communities, washing away houses, fish enclosures and vast areas of cropland.

Some 413 villages under 41 unions in Cox's Bazar have been flooded following three days of torrential rains.

In these locations, the authorities have opened 30 shelter centres.

Deputy Commissioner Mamunur Rashid said the upazila nirbahi officers had been granted special allocations for the flooded areas. 

“Some 135 tons of rice and Tk5 lakh have been provided so far. More immediate relief will be sent as needed.”

Ashrayan homes inundated in Teknaf

Due to the incessant rains, homes built under the Ashrayan Project in Hnila union of Teknaf upazila have been flooded. Most of the families have had to leave for higher ground.

A total of 28 houses were handed over to the homeless near the coastal embankment road east of Moulvibazar in the union.

Also Read- 14 die due to floods, landslides

The entire region was flooded as the sluice gate along the road remained closed for a long time to protect the interests of “a syndicate of unscrupulous salt farmers”.

Samira Begum, a beneficiary of the Ashrayan project in Hnila union, said: “I have been waterlogged for two days. I have to collect food and water by boat.

“No one showed up with any assistance. All but four of the 28 families have left this facility.”

Speaking on the matter, Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Mamunur Rashid said: “We are working on the sluice-gate issue along the coastal embankment. We are also executing plans to keep the water from becoming stagnant.”

Heavy rain disrupts life in Khulna

Many low-lying areas of Khulna’s Koyra and Paikgachha upazilas have been inundated due to incessant rains for the past three days.

Houses and farms went under water, leaving residents waterlogged. Fishing grounds have been washed away as the owners are trying to mitigate the damage by placing nets or raising the embankment.

Harshit Mandal, a fish farmer at Koyra's Mothbari, said his shrimp farm, which he took on lease last year, was completely damaged during Cyclone “Yaas”. As he restarted fish farming, the two-day rain has again washed away almost everything.

Alleys beside houses inundated in the flood in Bagerhat, July 29, 2021 | Dhaka Tribune

Moreover, a large pothole has appeared on the Koyra-18-mile main road.

Imtiaz Uddin, general secretary of the Koyra Development Coordination Committee, said the drainage system was completely broken. The sluice gates were not enough to drain water during the monsoon as illegal occupants and leaseholders had obstructed most of the canals.

Also Read- Cox's Bazar flood situation unchanged

In Paikgacha, 10 houses have collapsed and disappeared in the Kopotakkho River. 

Residents were facing extensive damage as low lands, including fish farms and croplands, had been submerged in water, said Raduli Union Parishad Chairman Abdul Majid Goldar.

Life in Bagerhat 

Officials say at least 50,000 families of Bagerhat district have been marooned and over 5,000 fish farms have been inundated by the floodwaters, caused by the low in the Bay.

The loss incurred by the shrimp and the crab farms would be no less than Tk11 crore, said Raj Kumar Bishwas, assistant director of Khulna Divisional Fisheries Department.   

Rampal Upazila saw a loss of around Tk3.8 crore, Senior Fisheries Officer Sheikh Asaduzzaman said, citing preliminary assessments.

Apart from the floodwaters, the incessant rains accompanied by winds have increased the sufferings of the coastal people.

Many areas of Bagerhat Municipality, Sharankhola, Morelganj, Rampal, Kachua and Mongla have been submerged by the floodwaters, causing massive damage to farms and homesteads. 

Sharankhola UNO Khatun-e-Jannat distributed dry food among the flood-affected people in the upazila on Thursday. 

“Most of the people in the upazila have been affected by the flood. The local public representatives have been instructed to take proper steps to make way for the stagnant water,” she said.

Meanwhile, party leaders distributed dry food among the people of Ward No 6 under Bagerhat Municipality on Thursday, under the guidance of Bagerhat-2 MP Sheikh Sarhan Naser Tonmoy.

Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Azizur Rahman said that the authorities had instructed all UNOs to provide people with necessary aid wherever needed. 

Landslides in Chittagong

Heavy rains caused landslides in different parts of Chittagong city from morning to afternoon on Thursday. No casualties were reported. 

The district administration relocated five families at risk in the afternoon. 

The landslides occurred at Baitul Aman Housing Society in Lalkhan Bazar and Florapas area of Ambagan in the city.

More than 400 villages under 41 unions in Cox's Bazar have been flooded due to three days of torrential rains | Dhaka Tribune

On receiving information, a joint team of the district administration and the Fire Service began removing the soil from the spot. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong District Administration Nazmul Ahsan visited the spot.

He said that the families had been relocated as they had been living close to the landslide site. 

Meanwhile, the district administration distributed food among about 1,000 people at four shelters and other places in the afternoon. 

Also Read- Heavy rains trigger fear of landslides in Bandarban

More rains ahead

The Met Office in a bulletin on Thursday said that light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind were likely to occur at most places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong divisions and at many places over Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions.

It also predicted moderately heavy to very heavy rainfall at different other places in the country.

The well-marked low over the southwestern part of Bangladesh and the adjoining area now lies over the western part of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal. It is likely to move northwestwards.

The axis of the monsoon, which is active over Bangladesh and strong over the North Bay, runs through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, the centre of the well-marked low to Assam across Bangladesh’s central part.

Signal No 3

The Met Office in another bulletin on Thursday advised the maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra to hoist local cautionary Signal No 3 and alert vessels of a possible squall.

The advisory for Signal No 3 -- which means that a depression has formed and may affect the port later -- comes in the wake of the well-marked low.

“Under its influence, deep convection is taking place and a steep pressure gradient lies over the North Bay and adjoining areas,” said the bulletin.

Squally weather may affect the maritime ports, the North Bay and the adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh, it added.

All boats and trawlers in the North Bay have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution until further notice.

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