Less possibility of fresh flooding in Bangladesh till mid-July

Water levels fall in 47 rivers, said FFWC

Officials predicted less possibility of fresh flooding in Bangladesh till mid-July simultaneously.

They said the ongoing flood may last longer due to the slow passing of water through major rivers and their tributaries.

“Both Northern and North-Eastern parts of Bangladesh witnessed severe flooding on June 15 this year and vast swaths of these regions are still reeling from the catastrophic impact of the deluge as a result of slow receding of water,” Pritom Kumar Sarkar, assistant engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), told BSS on Saturday.

“But the flood situation in North and North-Western worsened further after swelling of major rivers as inside Bangladesh and upstream regions recorded heavy downpour in late June,” he added.

Water levels at 58 river stations monitored by Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) have marked a rise while 47 stations recorded a fall.

Among the 109 monitored river stations, four have been registered steady while water levels at five stations are flowing above the danger level, a bulletin issued by the FFWC said on Saturday.

The Surma at Kanaighat, the Kushiyara at Amalshid and Sheola, the Old Surma at Derai, and the Someswari at Kalmakanda are flowing above the danger level by 49cm, 67cm, 23cm, 13cm and 30cm respectively.

Significant rainfall was recorded at some stations in different districts during the last 24 hours ending at 9am on Saturday, the bulletin added.

A total of 148 mm of rainfalls were recorded at Teknaf, 90mm at Bogra and 85mm at Faridpur.

Significant rainfalls were also recorded during the last 24 hours in Sikkim, Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura regions of North-East India, the bulletin added.

A total of 52mm of rainfalls were registered at Cherrapunji (Meghalaya), 37mm at Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) and 37mm at Darjeeling (West Bengal).

The Brahmaputra- Jamuna rivers are in rising, which may continue rising in the next 24 hours, the FFWC bulletin said, adding that all major rivers in the North-Eastern region of the country are in a falling trend, which may continue falling in the next 48 hours.

The Ganges-Padma river is in a rising trend, which may continue rising in the next 72 hours. 

The flood situation in Kurigram, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Kishoreganj and Brahmanbaria districts in Bangladesh may improve in the next 24 hours.

Waterborne diseases are spreading in the flood-hit regions of Bangladesh as floodwater started receding.

“Many people are suffering from diarrhoea, skin diseases, dysentery, cholera and other waterborne diseases,” Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) sources said.

In the past 24 hours, a total of 324 people have been affected by diarrhoea in four flood-hit divisions– Sylhet, Rangpur, Chittagong and Mymensingh– while 54 people have also suffered from skin diseases, a press release issued by the DGHS said.

To provide healthcare support to the flood-affected regions of the country, as many as 2,047 medical teams have been working since the beginning of the flood, it added.

In Sylhet district, vast swathes of Sylhet region were hardly hit by devastating flood this year, officials and local people added.

Roughly five million people were marooned during the flood, they said, adding: “A large number of people still have been marooned by the floodwater.”

Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Md Mojibor Rahman told BSS as many as 29,99,433 people in the district have been affected by the ongoing flood while around 40,000 people are still living at flood shelters.

He said relief materials including rice, dry food, medicines, and drinking water are being distributed among the people in the flood-hit areas.

In Sunamganj, nearly three million people have been badly affected by the devastating flood and the hard-hit district is still reeling from the slow improvement of receding floodwater. 

Local administration, as well as non-government organizations, is continuing relief operations for reducing the suffering of flood victims.

Monsoon rains and gushing waters from upstream India worsened Bangladesh's flood situation with experts calling it one of the worst floods while millions of people have been affected by the deluge, said Md Arifuzzaman Bhuyan, executive engineer of the FFWC.

North-Eastern and Northern parts of Bangladesh may witness prolonged floods as record-breaking rainfalls were recorded inside Bangladesh and upstream states of India during the ongoing flood situation.

“We have seen that both Bangladesh and upstream states of Meghalaya and Assam and western Himalayan regions of India recorded heavy rainfall, the highest over 100 years,” said Prof Md Mansur Rahman, of the Institute of Water and Flood Management of Buet.

Major rivers and their tributaries of Bangladesh have no capacity to contain such huge volume of rains, which ultimately has caused massive flooding in north-eastern and northern regions of the country, he added.

Mansur said there is a huge gap between Bangladesh and upstream regions of India in terms of elevation from sea level. 

“So, the onrush of water enters Bangladesh with a faster pace, which inundated vast areas of the country in a shorter time,” he observed.

The hydrologist said many embankments have been built in both Bangladesh and Indian regions to control flow of water of major rivers which are the main reasons for the increasing frequency of flooding.

He further said: “The ongoing flood in Meghna basin may prolong as the only exit point of flood water is Bhairab at the Megna river will take much time to pass such huge volume of flood water into the Bay of Bengal, meaning flood in north-eastern region is likely to be prolonged if the heavy downpour continues.”