• Friday, Oct 18, 2019
  • Last Update : 09:45 am

Floods hit over a million people in Bangladesh

Flood water -Sunamganj-Dhaka Tribune
The photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2019 shows a house is surrounded by flood water in Sunamganj Dhaka Tribune

All four of the country's major basins continue to rise

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced across Bangladesh, particularly in the northern, northeastern, and coastal districts in the last few days.

Water was flowing about 1769cm above danger levels at no less than 23 stations of 13 rivers yesterday, according to data compiled by the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

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 becomes a severe flood if the water flows more than 1m above.

All four of the country's major basins continued to rise due to incessant downpours and the rush of water from upstream, the bulletin says.

While the flooding may worsen in Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj and Tangail districts, the situation may improve in Lalmonirhat, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Habiganj, and Moulvibazar districts by morning today, it adds.

The FFWC usually monitors 93 river stations across Bangladesh. Among those, water levels at 63 river stations rose, while 29 fell, and one remained steady as of yesterday.

All the major rivers were  rising except the Surma-Kushiyara it said, adding that the

Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma rivers may continue rising this morning and the Atrai river at Baghabari and the Padma river at Goalondo point may cross danger levels by morning today , according to the forecast.


Also Read- Chittagong hit hard by flood


Thousands of people have been affected in the districts while rising water levels of the major rivers left people stranded in water-logged areas, putting them at risk of water-borne diseases.

The northern districts of Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Bogra, Sirajganj, and Gaibandha, northeastern districts like Sylhet,  Sunamganj, Habiganj, Netrokona and Moulvibazar, have borne the brunt of the flooding.

Floods worsen in Moulvibazar, Jamalpur

The floods, caused by days of incessant rain across Bangladesh, have worsened in Moulvibazar and Jamalpur while things remain unchanged in Sunamganj district.

In Moulvibazar, 70 villages have been flooded as heavy rainfall and rising water levels continue to affect new areas.

Moulvibazar Water Development Board (WDB) Executive Engineer Ranendra Shankar Chakrabarty said the Manu river was flowing 35cm-100cm above the danger level, while the Kushiyara river was flowing 54cm above, and the Dhalai river, 26cm above.

In Jamalpur, 300,000 people living in 47 unions of three municipalities are currently suffering due to floods caused by the steep rise in the water levels of the Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Jhenai, and Zinziram rivers.

Jamalpur WDB Executive Engineer Nabakumar Chowdhury said: “The Jamuna is currently flowing 135cm above the danger level at Bahadurabad Point.

“The newly flood affected areas of the district are: Madarganj upazila’s Gunritala, Adar Bhita union and municipality, Islampur municipality, Melndah upazila’s Mahmudpur, Nagla and Kulia areas, and vast areas of Sarishabari upazila’s Doail and Kamrabad unions.”

In Sunamganj, the flood situation remains unchanged though heavy rainfall has stopped in the district. Water levels of the Surma river are coming down but are still flowing 72cm above the danger level.

In Lalmonirhat, the Teesta and Dharla rivers have been flowing 22 cm and 55 cm above the danger level respectively. Thousands of families were marooned when a 200 meter length of the Kutirpar flood control embankment was breached in Aditmari upazila.

For the past seven days people in low lying areas have been marooned in stagnant waters but are yet to get any relief supplies.

Local administrations have distributed 153 MT of rice and Tk 2,50,000, but most people failed to get them.

WDB Executive engineer of Dalia Division, Rabiul Islam, said the water has been receding gradually since India recently shut the sluice gates of its Gajoldoba barrage.

In Sirajganj, Ranjit Kumar Sarkar, senior officer of the local Water Development Board, said at least 75,000 people remain marooned in flood waters as water from upstream and incessant rain persistently push up the water level on the Jamuna River.

Chouhali, Shahjadpur, Enayetpur, Kazipur, Belkuchi and low lying areas of Sadar, Tarash, and Ullapara upazilas, were inundated by flood waters.

In Kurigram, 390 villages of 55 unions of the district were inundated, while at least 350,000 people were under the open sky, suffering inhumane living conditions.

Water levels of the Brahmaputra, Dharla, and Dudhkumar rivers in Kurigram were rising while the Teesta river is going down.

Over three lakh people of 72,480 families in nine upazilas have been marooned in floodwaters, while the  homes of 1,031 families have been damaged in the floods,   district relief and rehabilitation official sources said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Hafizur Rahman said they gave 15 kg of rice to  2000 families in three flood-hit areas of the district.

In Habiganj, three unions of Nabiganj upazila were affected as water levels of theKushiyara River rose. 10 educational institutes were declared closed, while  90 percent of Digholbag union was flooded.  40 percent of Inatganj union and 20 percent of Aushkandi union are also flooded.

In Bogra, the Jamuna River is rapidly rising due to heavy water flow from India's Assam and Meghalaya state. The Jamuna is flowing 105 cm above the danger level at Mathurapara point of Sariakandi upazila.

Flash floods have already waterlogged nearly one lakh people in Sonatola, Sariakandi, and Dhunat upazilas. People have taken shelter on flood control embankments and shelter enters.

Local administration has already distributed 500 packets of dry food and requisitioned 10 metric tons of rice as relief supplies for the flood affected people.


Also Read- Rivers still flowing above danger level, flood situation may worsen


In Gaibandha, the flood situation continues to deteriorate with around 3 lakh people marooned.

As flood control embankments collapsed in Kutharpara and Godarhat area on Monday morning— a number of villages have gone under, including Farazipara, Eastkomornoi, Miahpara, West Komornoi, Chaygharia, Analertari Godarhat Bholarbazar of Kholahati union under Sadar upazila, and Purbapara, Kutipara, Munshipara, Baniarzan, Bridgeroad Kalibaripara, Aquaestatepara, and Sarkerpara in Gaibandha Municipality.

Around 3 lakh people of the upazilas have been marooned, said Nezarat, deputy collector, and acting district relief and rehabilitation officer, M. Shaheedul Islam.

With the rising Brahmaputra and Teesta rivers, the chars and the river basin areas, including 32 unions of Sundarganj, Sadar Fulchhari, and Saghata upazilas, have gone underwater.

In Sylhet, 75 unions in two municipalities of the district have been inundated. The flooding has affected 763 families (a total of 3.5 lakh people).

WBD sources said, water levels of the Surma and Kushiyara rivers went down but are still flowing above the danger level.

The Surma is flowing 98cm above the danger point at Kanaighat, and 58cm above in Sylhet.

The Kushiyara is flowing 90cm above the danger point in Shewla, 54cm above the danger point at Sherpur point.    

Sylhet's acting deputy commissioner Mir Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman said a total of 51 families took shelter in centres, while 79 schools are closed for the floods and 3866 hectares of land are under water. Also, WDB's flood embankments have been affected in 15 locations.

In Tangail, persistent rainfall and upstream water have raised river levels higher than Monday. The Jamuna, Dhaleshwari, and Jhinai rivers have significantly gone down but  are still flowing above the danger level.

River bank erosion continues to affect nearby inhabitants.

WDB executive engineer Sirajul Islam said: “Rivers will rise more in the next 24 hours. We are working to control the erosion.”