The flood situation in Sylhet and Sunamganj has remained static with floodwaters starting receding from many inundated areas amid a decrease in the water level of major rivers in the region.
However, the flood victims continued to suffer acutely for lack of adequate food and drinking water with many waiting in roads in hope of getting relief.
The devastating wave of flood, caused by heavy rains and onrush of water from Cherrapunji of India’s Meghalaya, had submerged nearly 90 percent of Sunamganj and 80 percent of Sylhet, leaving tens of thousands of people marooned and without power in the two districts.
However, the floodwaters have started receding from many areas as the water level of the rivers in Sylhet region slightly decreased on Monday.
The flood-affected people were suffering for lack of food and drinking water. Many were found waiting on roads in hope of getting relief.
Samia Begum, a resident of Telikhal in Companiganj upazila of Sylhe, said she had not eaten anything since Sunday night. “I have no food and water.
I haven’t got any food aid from anyone either,” Samia, who was waiting on a road with her baby boy, aged one and half months, said.
Hundreds of people were seen waiting for relief at Tuk Bazar of Bholaganj, and Khagail, Chhota Berni, Berni, East and West Berni, Telikhal and Thanabazar of Companiganj on Monday morning for relief.
Although some food aid was provided by individuals or organisations, this was not enough compared the number of victims.
Meanwhile, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) said the flood situation in Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona districts may remain steady in the next 24 hours. As rumours about a late-night robber attack was spread in Sylhet, district’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Mojibur Rahman said legal action would be taken after making a list of those involved in the evil practice cashing in on the flood situation.
He also said work has begun to identify the rumour-mongers. Legal action will be taken against those who spread rumours and terrorise the people.
On Saturday night, rumours about robbery spread in Sylhet city and adjoining areas. At that time, miking was done in different neighbourhoods alerting locals to possible robbery. At night, people from different neighbourhoods came out of their houses with sticks.
However, law enforcement agencies claimed that they did not find any evidence of the bandit attack on the spot.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali said flight operations at Sylhet Osmani International Airport may remain suspended for a few more days.
He was responding to a question from reporters after visiting the airport in a Bangladesh Air Force helicopter on Monday afternoon.
In Sunamganj, the floodwaters have started receding from the district town, though very slowly.
Most of the houses are still under water, making it impossible for people to return.
People are in extreme misery as there is a crisis of food and drinking water everywhere, including shelter homes.
However, as the water receded, some shops opened in different parts of the town. People are coming out of their homes to buy essentials. Most of the roads are still flooded. Some of these roads are under knee-deep water and some under waist-deep water.
In Moulvibazar, heavy rains and downpours have inundated over 400 villages in Barlekha, Juri, Kulaura, Sadar and Rajnagar upazilas, leaving about 2.5 lakh people marooned.
Water was entering new areas every day due to a rise in the water levels of major rivers in the region.
The flood situation may deteriorate in the low-lying areas of Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Tangail while there is chance of very heavy rainfall in the south-eastern parts of the country during the period, the FFWC said.
In Kishoreganj, the flood situation in the haor area was deteriorating due to continuous rains and onrush of water from the upper reaches. In the last 24 hours, the water level of all the rivers in the district increased and is flowing over the danger mark.
Over one lakh people have already been left without homes. Residents of Itna, Mithamain, Ashtagram, Karimganj, Tarail and Nikli upazilas were suffering most due to the deteriorating flood situation.
Amid the worsening flood situation in parts of the country, Bangladesh Meteorological Department forecast more downpours in the next 24 hours commencing at 9:00am on Monday due to active monsoon.
“Light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty wind and lightning flashes is likely to occur at most places in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions with moderately heavy to very heavy falls at places in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions,” said a BMD bulletin.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Sunday night said 660 sites of four mobile phone operators have been activated in Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in a statement on Monday said initiatives will be taken to normalise the power supply to the flood-affected areas as soon as the situation improves.
It said the organisation was forced to suspend the power supply either partially or fully to Sylhet, Sunamganj and other flood-hit areas on safety and security grounds.
The BPDB urged all to maintain contact with its control room numbers 01313096296 (Sylhet) and 01708149502-3 (Dhaka) in case of emergency.
The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at different points in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts, inundating different low-lying and char areas.
In Kurigram, about 2.5 lakh people of more than 200 chars in 49 unions have been marooned.
Rowmari upazila was hit worst as one lakh people have been stranded there in floodwaters.
In Gaibandha, although the Teesta River was flowing below the danger level, other rivers have swollen.
In Jamalpur, the flood situation in the district deteriorated further following the continuous rise in the water level of the Jamuna River.
In Netrokona, the flood situation has taken a turn for the worse. All the rivers of the district have burst their banks. As a result, new areas of 10 upazilas of the district have been flooded, rendering over 2 lakh people homeless. There was an acute shortage of drinking water and fodder in the flood-hit areas.
Members of Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Coast Guard and Fire Service and Civil Defence have been engaged in rescue and relief efforts in Sylhet and adjacent areas.