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Dhaka Tribune

200,000 people marooned by tidal surge in Bhola

Update : 24 Jul 2013, 03:00 PM

About 200,000 people in Bhola were left stranded in their homes for the last two days, after a damaged embankment allowed tidal water into riverside villages.

The water came through a 10km stretch of the embankment, built by the Water Development Board (WDB), and affected all seven upazilas of the island district.

Sources said, the embankment was damaged in several areas following cyclone Mahasen in mid-May and was never repaired by the WDB.

As a result, water from the Meghna River used to enter through the damaged parts during the cycles of the moon.

This time, ahead of the full moon, villages in Kachia, Dhania and Ilisha unions of Bhola Sadar upazila were flooded with several feet of water.

Borhanuddin upazila is among the areas that have been severely affected, with several unions, including Bara Manika and Paria that suffered from chest-level flooding at the time of tide.

Stranded people are suffering from various problems including lack of drinking water.

Idris Akon, a villager at Baro Manika union, said people could not have their sehri and iftar properly due to the situation.

People in Tajumaddin, Lalmohan and Charfasson upazilas and in the remote Manpura Island along with Bhabanipur and Syedpur unions of Daulatkhan upazila, remained marooned.

Crops on hundreds of acres of land and fishes in ponds as well as roads were destroyed in these areas.

Even people not bounded by the embankment, were left marooned by varying depths of water in their homesteads.

Borhanuddin Upazila Nirbahi Officer Jahangir Hossain said people in Hakimuddin Banglabazar area were marooned for nearly 45 days due to the poor condition of the embankment.

So far, 450 tonnes of rice under VGF programme has been distributed amongst the affected people, he said.

Bhola WDB-1 Executive Engineer Abdul Hannan said the repair work of the dam had started despite several problems. Whatever repair is being done on the damaged areas is being “washed away” by tidal water, he said, adding, “Efforts are on to finish the work as soon as possible.”

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