The flood situation may deteriorate further in the coming week
Flooding in different parts of the country will remain throughout July due to the increase in water-levels and another wave of rain is forecast in the coming week.
The Padma, Jamuna, Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers may continue to rise in the next several days, making the country’s overall flood situation worse.
According to the Flood Forecast and Warning Centre (FFWC), flooding in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Bogra, Jamalpur, Sirajganj, Tangail, Natore, Naogaon, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Dhaka will worsen in the next 24 hours.
On the other hand, the flood situation may improve in Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Netrokona and Rangpur due to receding water levels of the Teesta and Dharla rivers and other rivers of the upper Meghna basin.
FFWC Executive Engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuyan said: “Flood conditions in Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Netrokona and Rangpur are improving because the rainfall in these places is decreasing.”
“Water levels of the Padma, Jamuna, Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers will continue to rise in the next four to five days due to a possible rise in rainfall.
After that, the water level of all major rivers will start decreasing but there is a possibility of another bout of rainfall next week which may cause the flood situation to deteriorate once again,” he said.
“Our unofficial prediction shows that the flood situation may exist until the end of July. If there is more rain next week, it may be longer than we predicted,” Arifuzzaman added.
According to the FFWC flood forecast till 9am on Tuesday, water levels of the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Ganges, Padma rivers were on a rising trend and this may continue for the next 72 hours. The Jamuna may cross the danger level in the next 24 hours at Aricha Ghat point.
On the other hand, the water levels of the Teesta and Dharla are on a downward trend. Water levels of all the rivers of the upper Meghna basin in the northeast, except the Kushiara, are also on the decline. This trend may continue for 48 hours to come.
Of the 101 water level monitoring stations of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), across Bangladesh, 64 stations observed an increase in water levels, while 34 saw a decrease. The water level remained unchanged at three stations.
Water levels at 23 points in rivers across the country are currently flowing above the danger mark, including on the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Dharla, Surma, Teesta, Gur, Ghagot, Atrai, Dhaleshwari and Someshwari rivers.
The Padma river is flowing above the danger level at Goalanda and Bhagyakul point, increasing the risk of flooding in Rajbari and Munshiganj districts.
20,000 people take shelter at 1,035 centres
State minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Enamur Rahman, said: “About 20,000 people took shelter in 1,035 shelter centers in 12 flood affected districts.”
“Deputy Commissioners (DC) of each affected district have received Tk500,000 from the ministry to provide cooked food in shelters. In all, 17 districts have been inundated by the floods, which have affected 1,457,827 people. 294,274 families are marooned in the floodwaters,” he said during a press briefing.
“About 8,210MT of rice, over Tk2.82 crore, 74,000 packets of dry food, Tk48 lakh for cattle food and another Tk48 lakh for baby food have been given so far. 300 bundles of tin and Tk9 lakh have bee given to repair damaged houses,” the state minister said.
“The second wave of rise in water level will continue till July 17 which may stay one or two weeks. 23 districts will be affected by the floods,” he added.
“Water coming from China, Nepal and some Indian states are causing floods in the country,” he added.
The state minister said the government is with the people and together will overcome the situation.
Due to the monsoons, there will be rain in many places over Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) forecast moderately heavy to heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours.
According to BMD, the axis of the monsoon trough runs through Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal to Assam across central parts of Bangladesh. One of its associated troughs extends up to the North Bay. Monsoon is fairly active over Bangladesh, and moderate over North Bay.
The weather forecast also said light to moderate rain/thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty winds are likely to occur at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong divisions and at a few places over Rajshahi and Dhaka divisions, with moderately heavy to heavy rainfall in various places across the country.
Adverse impact of the floods
Erosion has again started causing more damage to several areas in Sirajganj, Dinajpur, and Pabna as the flood conditions deteriorate.
However, the flood situation showed significant improvement alongside the Teesta in Nilphamari during the same period, with deterioration in three upazilas of Rangpur and adjoining Lalmonirhat districts.
In Jamalpur, the Jamuna has been flowing 99cm above the danger mark at Bahadurabad point, confirmed Executive Engineer Md Abu Sayeed of the district's WDB office.
Incessant rain and hill waters have triggered floods that left around 300,000 people in 30 unions and four municipalities, marooned.
Floodwaters began to recede after the first phase of the flood when it had marooned around 400,000 people in 49 unions and eight municipalities in Jamalpur.
However, the flood situation has again intensified in the past few days.
In Kurigram, around 200,000 people were marooned and fresh char and low lying areas in the basin of four main rivers in the district were flooded.
Dharla has been flowing 100cm above the danger mark at Bridge Point until 6am Tuesday. The Brahmaputra and Teesta were flowing 85cm and 13cm, respectively, above the danger mark at two different points.
According to the district's relief and rehabilitation officer (DRRO), people of 56 unions in Rajarhat, Chilmari, Rowmari, Nageshwari and some other upazilas were marooned.
The district's Deputy Commissioner Md Rezaul Karim said: "Measures are being taken to distribute rice, drinking water, baby food, dried food, and fodder, among locals."
In Gaibandha, the Brahmaputra crossed its danger mark on Monday night inundating the river basin areas including the chars.
The Teesta and the Ghagot were also flowing just below their respective danger marks on Tuesday morning, reports BSS, quoting Executive Engineer Mokhlasur Rahman of BWDB.
The water levels in the Brahmaputra rose by 17cm, the Ghagot 11cm, and the Karatoa 15cm.
With the rise of water levels in the Brahmaputra river, the river basin areas of Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari and Saghata upazilas were flooded.
Gaibandha DRRO Mokhlesur Rahman said 87,776 people of 21,974 families were marooned till date in 26 unions of the district's four upazilas.
“The district administration has allocated 100 tons of rice, Tk4 lakh and 1,800 packets of dry foods being distributed among flood affected people,” he said.
In Sirajganj, the Jamuna was flowing 39cm and 69cm above the danger mark at the Sirajganj and Kazipur upazila points respectively, on Tuesday morning.
The rising waters have rise triggered sporadic erosion of riverbanks in Khudbandi and Singrabari unions of Kazipur upazila, and Koizuri union of Shahjadpur upazila, said Engineer AKM Rafiqul Islam of Sirajganj WDB.
In Dinajpur, Sadar, Birol, and Kaharol upazilas sustained the most damage due to the erosion of the Punarbhaba riverbank. The WDB estimates that the locality could be hit by floods soon.
The Punarbhaba and Ichhamati were flowing about a centimetre below the danger mark at two different points, and the Atrai River was flowing 38cm above the danger mark.
In Pabna, the Jamuna was flowing 0.16cm below the danger mark in Mathura Point while the Padma was flowing 1.66cm below the danger mark at Hardinge Bridge point in Pakshi, according to Abdul Hamid, executive engineer of the district WDB.
Locals in these riverbank areas are living in fear as erosion has already claimed their farmland and homes during the first phase of floods this season.
Relief from the ministry
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief allotted TK2 lakh for cattle fodder and the same amount for baby food to each district so far, along with 2,000 packets of dry food for each affected district. On Tuesday the ministry allocated Tk5 lakh for each of 12 affected districts.
Our correspondents Biswajit Deb, Jamalpur; Ariful Islam, Kurigram; Aminul Islam Rana, Sirajganj; Faruk Hossain, Dinajpur; and Emroz Khondker, Pabna contributed to this report