Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Sylhet flood victims cry for relief

Sylhet flood victims cry for relief
Flood has left over two million people marooned in Sylhet. A family at Chowdhurykandi village in Gowainghat upazila of the district is seen heading for shelter by a boat along with their belongings after their house goes under water. The photo was taken on Friday. —Rabin chowdhury

Most of the people affected by flood in Sylhet were passing days in utter misery amid acute crises of food, drinking water and shelter as the overall flood situation in the district has worsened further with new areas getting inundated due to huge onrush of upstream water.

Over two million people have been affected by the flood, triggered by onrush of hilly waters from India over a week ago, in the district.

However, most of the flood victims were passing time without access to adequate food and drinking water. Many were left stuck at their houses as there is no shelter centre although some evacuated from several flood-hit areas.

Roads, government and private offices and educational institutions were inundated by the floodwater. Educational institutions in the worst-affected areas have been declared closed. Several agricultural fields have also gone under water.

The acute shortages of drinking water and food intensified the sufferings of the affected people. The flood-hit people of Sylhet city were also facing a food and water crisis.

At least four people died either from drowning in floodwater or in landslides at hillocks in the last seven days. Besides, 96 people caught waterborne diseases during the same period, said sources at the Sylhet civil surgeon's office.

Although the government tried to provide relief, many did not get it as road communication between Sadar upazila and several other places has been cut off due to the worsening flood situation.

So far 650 educational institutions in Sylhet have been ordered to shut down by the authorities due to the worsening flood condition in the district.

According to the district office of the Department of Agricultural Extension, 1,301 hectares of Aush paddy field, 1,704 hectares of Boro field and 1,004 hectares of summer vegetables went under water till Thursday.

The Surma and Kushiyara rivers continue to flow above the danger level due to the onrush of hilly waters from India as 2,200mm of rainfall has been recorded in Cherrapunji of Meghalaya state in the last eight days.

The dyke at the Barak River along the border with India collapsed in the small hours of Friday due to the onrush of hilly waters, inundating several areas of Zakiganj upazila, including Fillakandi, Amalshid, Barthakuri, Khasirchak, Khairchak, Baroghatta and Sonasar.               At the same time, the road communication between Zakiganj and Sadar upazilas was snapped due to flooding, said acting upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Zakiganj Pallab Hom Das.

Following the dyke collapse, flooding may worsen in other upazilas of the district as well, he added.

New areas of the district have been inundated since early Friday. The flood situation remained the same in 13 upazilas of the district -- Companiganj, Gowainghat, Kanaighat, Zakiganj, Jaintapur and Sylhet Sadar upazilas to name a few.

Besides, hundreds of students have been hit hard as flooding forced authorities to close educational institutions in Sylhet district.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) said the Surma River was flowing 11.27cm above the danger level at Sylhet point on Thursday.

Besides, the Kushiyara was flowing at 17.17cm at the same point. On the other hand, at Sheola (Sylhet) point, the water level of the river was at 13.62cm.

In Sunamganj, the flood situation has deteriorated further due to swelling Surma and Kushiyara rivers, leaving a large number of people marooned.

The district administration has kept 60 shelter centres ready for the flood victims.

Road communications between Chhatak and Dowarabazar upazilas of Sunamganj were snapped.