Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Flood situation worsens in 3 dists

Floods ravaging Sylhet, Sunamganj and Kurigram districts worsened as water levels of the region’s rivers rose further due to heavy downpour and onrush of hilly water triggering immense suffering to the lakhs of people, officials said Thursday, reports UNB.

In Sylhet around three lakh people of five upazilas under the district have been marooned due to flood.

According to the Water Development Board, Surma and Kushirara, two major rivers in the district swelled at various points till 9am on Thursday.  Surma River was flowing 0.99 centimeters and 0.25 centimeters above the danger mark at Kanaighat and Sylhet points respectively.

Besides, water in the Kushiara River was flowing 0.3 centimeters above the danger level at the Fenchuganj point and the Sari River was flowing 0.32 centimeters above the danger mark at Sarighat point.

Meanwhile, flood waters from Surma River have flowed into houses and shops in Sylhet city. At least 10 places in the city have gone under knee-deep water.

River water has entered the Kalighat and Mohajonpatti wholesale market. Businessmen of the two markets have expressed worries as river water entered their shops for the second time in a month.  Flood water also entered Taltola, Jamtola, Sobhanighat, Terorton, Upasohor in the city. Sufferings of the commuters have increased as roads of these areas have been inundated. Many people are leaving the city for safe and dry places. 

Sylhet Water Development Board executive engineer Asif Ahmed said at least 500 villages of Companiganj, Gowainghat, Jaintapur, Kanaighat, and Sylhet sadar have been inundated. Educational institutions, government-private offices, and roads of the upazila have also been swamped.

Houses, roads, educational institutions, and shops in low-lying areas of the upazilas have gone under flood water.

Road communication has been disrupted among all unions under Gowainghat upazila. Around 90 per cent of people of the upazila have been marooned. People living in eastern, western and central Jaflong , Alir Gaon, Rustampur, Tuakul, Lengura areas have also been stranded by floods.

Tahmilur Rahman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Gowainghat said a large number of people have been marooned due to the second round of flood. The administration has prepared 42 shelters and initiative has been taken to take the marooned people to the shelters with the help of people’s representatives.

Meanwhile, Laxmiprashad East and West, Chatul, and low-lying areas of Kanaighat upazila have been inundated due to the flood water. Hundreds of people of border upazila Zakiganj have also been marooned.

Met office said heavy downpour might occur till June 23 in Sylhet which can lead to a flood with dire consequences.

In Sunamganj  water in Surma River was flowing 55 centimeters above the danger mark, while it was 213 centimeters above the danger mark at Chhatak point on Thursday morning.

Water Development Board has recorded 185mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours in the district. More than three lakh people have been marooned in the districts due to the flood for the second phase just after one month.

Several hundred houses, more than 200 educational institutions, and at least 100 fish enclosures went under water in recent days in Chhatak.

Berajpur, Noapara, Alampur, Bilpar, Dashghar, Krishnanagar, Anondonagar, Bagain, Lakshmipur, Gabindanagar and Mohonpur areas of the upazila are worst affected.

Chhatak Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mamunur Rahman said ten shelters have been opened in Chhatak upazila for the flood victims. More than 150 families have already taken shelter at these shelters. The administration has been distributing relief materials among the flood victims. 

In Kurigram, more than 50 houses have been washed away by the Teesta River in two unions of Rajarhat upazila here in the last 45 days.

Heavy rainfall and the onrush of the upstream water triggered the Teesta river banks erosion, rendering many people living on the river banks homeless.

Hundreds of bighas of cropland, trees, ponds, and mosques have also been affected by the river erosion. People of the area have become helpless as the authorities concerned are yet to take any preventive measures to stop river erosion, said locals.

Only two kilometers of the 43 kilometers river banks have been protected while the rest area remained unprotected.

As a result, houses, trees, and cropland are washed away every year. Educational institutions, bazars and mosques and temples are under threat of erosion, they said.

Currently, river erosion has taken serious turn in 6 kilometers area in Gharialdanga and Bidyananda unions of the upazila.

The Water Development Board is trying to save the river banks by dumping geo bags in the river as temporary measures.

A total of 17 houses of Bogurapara, Ramhori, Kitabgaon, and Burirhat have been devoured by the Teesta River recently despite the efforts of the Water Development Board.

Locals have urged the authorities concerned to save their houses and other establishments from the river erosion.

Mondol Ali, son of late Bande Ali of Kitab Khan village under Bidyananda union, said, “We live on the bank of Teesta. But there is no option expects dumping geo bags to control the river erosion. I have no idea how we will survive here. We have no idea how long we can survive here.”

Meheron of Ramhori village of Gharialdanga said, “River has taken all of my properties including cropland. I have sold trees worth Tk 5 lakh only at Tk 90,000 fearing the erosion in the Teesta River. If the river washes away my house, then we will turn homeless.”

Abdul Baten, UP member of No. 1 ward under the Gharialdanga union said, the measures taken by the Water Development Board are inadequate to protect the 6-7 kilometers long area from the river erosion.

Contacted, Kurigram Water Development Board executive engineer Abdullah Al Mamun said, “We have saved several points of the Teesta River. Now erosion has started in new places. We are trying to save the river banks from erosion after contacting with the higher authorities. “

Teesta River training will be possible after launching the work of the mega project, he added.