Northern, northeastern and southern districts suffer most as two killed, thousands marooned
Heavy rainfall for the last couple of days has triggered flooding across the country, particularly affecting northern, northeastern and coastal districts.
At least two people were killed on Saturday, while thousands remain marooned by the floods, which have affected crops as well as road communications in different parts, report our correspondents.
Moreover, at least 11 people were killed by lightning in three districts on Saturday.
Thousands of people in the affected districts have become victims of recurring landslides and rising water levels of the major rivers, making them water-logged and stranded, as well as at risk from water-borne diseases.
Water was flowing about 12.84 metres above danger level in at least 23 stations of 15 rivers on Saturday, according to data compiled by the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).
Three stations each of Surma and Kushiyara rivers, two each of Manu, Sungu, Brahmaputra and Jumuna rivers, and one each of Dhalai, Khowai, Someswari, Kangsha, Halda, Matamuhuri, Dharla, Teesta and Ghagot rivers were flowing above the danger level, the data shows.
The FFWC warned that the flood situation in Netrokona, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Jamalpur, and Gaibandha may deteriorate further in the next 24 hours.
According to the centre, the situation is said to be a flood if the water flows at or up to 1m above the danger level, while it is severe flood if the water flows more than 1m above.
The outlook says that all the major rivers are in rising trend with chances of medium to heavy rainfall in some places and very heavy rainfall in the northern, northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh in the next 24 to 48 hours.
It apprehends that all major rivers may continue rising over the next 72 hours.
The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast for parts of Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chittagong divisions for the next 24 hours from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday.
In such a situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government has taken all necessary preparations to tackle flooding in the country and asked all officials to remain alert so that the floods cannot harm people.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Friday said 17,500 tons of rice, 50,000 packets of dry food, 500 tents, and Tk2.93 crore in cash have been sent to the flood-affected districts.
Two killed, thousands marooned
In Rangamati, two people were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Kaptai upazila.
The deceased are Atal Barua, 50, and Sujoya Aung Marma, 42, former chairman of Kaptai upazila Dildar Hossain said.
According to locals, the landslide killed the pair around 11am on Saturday as they were riding a CNG auto-rickshaw on the Raikhali-Bangalhalia-Bandarban road at Karigarpara under Raikhali union of Kaptai.
In Chittagong, a woman and her daughter were pulled out alive from debris following a landslide that occurred around 10:30am at Arefin Nagar in Bayazid area.
Shah Noor, 40, and her daughter Marjina, 18, were rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital soon after police, army and locals managed to rescue them, said Sub-Inspector Emdadul Haque of Bayazid police station.
The civil surgeon office has formed a total of 284 medical teams in the district to tackle any possible disasters that could be triggered by heavy rains.
In Bandarban, torrential rain for the last nine days has swelled the rivers Sangu and Matamuhuri, flooding six upazilas and leaving 20,000 families marooned.
Both rivers were flowing above the danger level on Saturday, inundating Armypara, Islampur and Bus station areas under Sadar upazila, and other low-lying areas of Lama, Alikadam, Ruma, Thanchi and Rowangchhari upazilas.
Houses have collapsed and croplands destroyed due to the severe flooding, causing immense suffering to the residents of the hilly region. Their daily activities have virtually come to a standstill.
Floods have also snapped road links between Bandarban and other parts of the country for the last five days. Due to the disruption in communication, prices of commodities have increased.
The district administration has opened 131 shelters and formed special teams to provide health services to the affected people. Different organizations – including the municipality authorities and the upazila administration – are providing food at the shelters.
In Lalmonirhat, water level of the Teesta River has continued to rise due to heavy rain for the last five days and rush of water from upstream, causing severe flooding on both banks of the river.
Fourty-four sluice gates of the Teesta Barrage were opened to control the onrush of floodwater, but the water level has continued to rise.
BWDB Deputy Assistant Engineer Aminur Rashid said there is a possibility that the water level might continue to rise over the next four to five days.
In Sylhet, two people remain missing in Goainghat and Companiganj due to floods.
Companiganj police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Tajul Islam said Helal Uddin, a worker, went missing on Friday when the boat carrying him sank at Bholaganj in the upazila. A drive is underway to trace him.
A youth named Hossain Mia has been missing since Wednesday after he drowned in flood water at Nayabasti village in Jaflong, said Goainghat OC (investigation) Hillol Roy.
BWDB Executive Engineer in Sylhet Muhammad Shahiduzzaman Sarker said all the rivers in the district were flowing dangerously, compared to Friday.
In Sunamganj, the flood situation remains unchanged at Sadar, Bishambharpur, Tahirpur, Jamalganj, and Doarabajar upazilas due to heavy downpour and onrush of upstream water from India.
Data compiled by the district administration show that water has entered 14,500 houses, stranding at least 75,000 people.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer M Fazlul Haque said 1.04 lakh people of 21,000 families have become stranded because of the floods. Some 300 metric tons of rice, 3,765 packets of dry food, and Tk2.5 lakh has been distributed as relief, he added.
Tahirpur Upazila Parishad Chairman Koruna Sindhu Chowdhury Babul said at least 5,000 mud houses have been destroyed in his area.
In Jamalpur, at least 6,000 people of different areas under Islampur upazila have become stranded because of floods.
In Netrokona, hundreds of people under 12 unions of Durgapur and Kolmakanda have been passing a hard time due to the floods. The district and local administrations distributed 20 metric tonnes of rice and 600 packets of dry food among the affected people.
In Rangpur, about 50,000 residents of 40 villages under nine unions of three upazilas have largely been affected due to continuous downpour, rise of water level of the Teesta River, coupled with onrush of hilly water from India.
In Moulvibazar, 133 hectares of aush paddy have been damaged by the rising waters of Monu and Dholai rivers, as reported by the district agriculture extension department.
In Bogra, the Jamuna River was flowing 8cm above the danger level as of 3pm on Saturday, inundating low-lying areas at Kamalpur, Rohodoho, Ghoghudoho, Chandanbaisha, Dholirkandi and Kutubpur in Sariakandi.
Anwar Hossain from Chittagong, S Bashu Das from Bandarban, Moazzam Hossain from Lalmonirhat, Md Serajul Islam from Sylhet, Himadri Shaker Bhadra from Sunamganj, Bishwajit Deb from Jamalpur, Hanif Ullah Akash from Netrokona, Liakat Ali Badal from Rangpur, Saiful Islam from Moulvibazar, and Nazmul Huda Nasim from Bogra contributed to this report.