Dam in Sorry State

Shyamnagar people at risk of flooding

Shawkat Ali Khan, from Satkhira

5 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The people of Shyamnagar upazila in Satkhira are facing a risk of flooding as local river protection embankments may collapse anytime during the current monsoon.

Villagers said that river protection embankments are in bad shape due to lack of repair.

They fear the risky embankments may collapse during the present monsoon, destroying their life and dwellings and other valuable properties and crops.

They repeatedly called upon the authorities concerned to repair the embankments, but their call is going unheeded.

“We’re passing days in panic, but the authorities concerned haven’t yet taken any steps to solve the problem,” many a villager said.

If the embankments break down, paddy and shrimp farms and dwellings will face destruction, they added.

The authorities concerned make a plea of sufficient fund crisis, local people alleged.

“We couldn’t yet recover huge loses of lives and property caused by cyclones Aila and Sidr,” said Shamsul Islam, imam of a local mosque.

In such a situation, “We will be completely bankrupt if the salty seawater storms into our cultivable land and shrimp farms through the river protection embankment under the impact of cyclone Fani,” he added.           

Meanwhile, several villages of Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat have been flooded after a river protection embankment has collapsed under the influence of Fani.

Water rose up to two feet over the ground in Bagi and Dashgram village, inundating around 200 houses, local people said.

Dilip Sarkar, officer-in-charge of Sharankhola Police Station, confirmed the latest flooding and said no fatalities were reported yet.

Sabur Ali, a resident of Bagi village, said that a cyclone shelter has gone under water. “I tried to take shelter there, but it was submerged.”

Anwara Begum of the same village said they couldn’t eat or drink water as her house has gone under water. “There is a huge crisis of drinkable water here.”

Meanwhile, crops on a vast tract of land in Morelganj and Kachua upazilas have been damaged by the cyclone-triggered rain.

Farmers were seen busy salvaging whatever crop they could save.

Aftab Uddin, deputy director of Bagerhat Agricultural Department, said: “25 percent of paddy is under water.”

The cyclonic storm “Fani” over Satkhira, Jashore and Khulna regions and adjoining areas moved north-northeastwards further and located over Faridpur-Dhaka region and adjoining areas at 9am on Saturday.

It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction further, said a Met office bulletin.

Under its influence, sky remains cloudy and rain/thunder showers with gusty/squally wind is continuing across the country.

Under its influence of the cyclonic storm gusty/squally wind with the speed of about 62-88 kph is likely to continue over the country and North Bay. Sea will remain very rough.

Under the influence of “Fani” and the new Moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 2-4 feet height above normal astronomical tide.

Bangladesh has been feeling the peripheral effect of ‘Fani’ since Friday morning. A number of villages and shoals in coastal districts have already been inundated.

A total of 1,240,795 people have been evacuated to cyclone centres in coastal districts till Friday evening.

As many as 4,071 cyclone centres have been opened in 19 coastal districts while directives have been issued to use schools and colleges as shelter centres.

The Navy has deployed 32 ships in Chattogram, Khulna and Mongla for emergency rescue operations and relief work. Naval contingents are on standby for immediate deployment in coastal areas.

The government has also set up control rooms. The National Disaster Response Coordination Centre is providing updates.