Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Flooding in Sylhet

Schools closed, power cut

Schools closed, power cut
Rickshaws are seen wading through knee-deep water on the main road of Upashahar in Sylhet city on Thursday. Different parts of the city and vast areas of the district have gone under water due to onrush of upstream water for the last few days. —Reaz ahmed sumon

The overall flood situation in Sylhet has been aggravated due to a huge onrush of water from hills in border areas of the country.

More than 20 lakh people have so far been affected by the flooding in the district. Many of them are passing miserable life with inadequate food and drinking water.

At least 30 areas of Sylhet city have been inundated. The flooding has also worsened in 13 upazilas, including Companiganj, Gowainghat, Kanaighat, Zakiganj and Jaintapur, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) said on Thursday.

Some 11.5 lakh consumers of Bangladesh Power Development Board and Palli Bidyut Samiti in different upazilas and Sylhet city have been hit hard due to a power cut by the flooding.

Two substations of Bangladesh Power Development Board and two substations of Palli Bidyut Samiti have been shut due to a rise in flood water, officials said.

Some people have been evacuated from several flood-hit areas while many have got stranded. Local authorities have opened 274 shelter centres across the northeastern district for the marooned people.

Many roads, government and private organisations and educational institutions were marooned by the floodwater.

The educational institutions in the worst-affected areas have been declared closed due to the floodwater.

So far, 650 educational institutions in Sylhet have been ordered to shut down due to the worsening flooding in the district.

District Primary Education Officer Sakhawat Ershed told reporters that the rising floodwater has forced authorities to keep at least 418 schools closed for the time being.

Meanwhile, Secondary Education Officer Abu Saeed Md Abdul Wadud said a total of 222 institutions have been flooded in the district and 185 of them closed.

Shortages of pure drinking water and food intensified the sufferings of the marooned people.

The displaced people are passing their days under the open sky as their dwellings were washed away by floodwater. Local sources said the government has sped up relief distribution among flood victims in the affected areas, but these are not adequate.

Although rainfall has declined in the district in the last two days, the water levels in rivers and haors of Sylhet rose by two more inches.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh Water Development Board, the Surma River has been flowing 127cm above the danger level at Kanaighat Point.

At Sylhet point, it has increased by 13cm and is flowing 42cm above the danger level, it said.

Besides this, Kushiara river water has increased by 20cm at Amalsid (Sylhet) point and is now flowing 158cm above the red mark.

On the other hand, at Sheola point in Sylhet, the water level of the river has risen by 8cm.

The FFWC said the flood situation may worsen in some places in the northeastern parts of Sylhet and low-lying areas of Sunamganj in the next 24 hours. The Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma rivers are in rising trend which may continue, it added.

The Dharla, Teesta and Dudhkumar rivers of the northern region of Bangladesh are in rising trend, which may continue rising, it said.

Major rivers of the northeastern region of the country in the Upper Meghna basin are in rising trend which may continue and may rise rapidly at times on some points of major rivers of the northeastern region (Surma, Kushiyara, Bhugai-Kangsha, DhanuBaulai, Manu, Khowai).

According to the numerical weather forecast of meteorological agencies, there is chance of heavy rainfall at some places of the northern and northeastern regions of the country along with adjoining states of Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Tripura of India.

On Wednesday, several roads were inundated, with floodwater entering a number of government establishments in Sylhet city, including Sylhet Fire Service Office, Sylhet divisional commissioner’s office, deputy inspector general’s office, Kotwali police station, divisional forest officer’s office, Topkhana Roads and Highways’ Office, Sobhanighat police outpost and regional power offices.