Two women cook in their front yard in ankle-deep water as the flooding and erosion by the Jamuna continue to devastate the Phulchhari upazila of Gaibandha. The photo was taken yesterday at Paglar Char. Photo: Star
Nearly one lakh more people have been affected by floods in 70 villages of Bogra as a breach in the flood-control embankment by the Jamuna river widened by another 100 metres yesterday.
With them, lives of more than 10 lakh people have been disrupted by the recent spell of floods in 17 districts of the country, according to the data of the Department of Disaster Management.
Meanwhile, two children, aged seven and two, drowned on Friday while playing near their flood-hit homesteads at Dirail upazila in Moulvibazar.
The embankment along the Jamuna developed a crack of nearly 300 metres early Friday, allowing floodwater into some 100 villages of Sonatala, Dhunat, Shariakandi, Gabtoli and Sherpur upazilas. That caused sufferings to some one lakh villagers.
The embankment cannot be repaired until the flood situation improves, said Nurul Islam Sarkar, executive engineer of the Water Development Board (WDB) in Bogra.
The other districts that saw new areas getting submerged yesterday include Madaripur, Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Sherpur and Munshiganj.
More areas of Rajbari, Faridpur, Shariatpur, Madaripur and Munshiganj districts are likely to be flooded in the next two days with a further rise in the water level of the Padma, said Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of the WDB.
The low-lying areas in Dhaka, however, will remain safe as the Turag, Buriganga and Balu rivers and Tongi Khal (canal) will not flow above the danger level amid low rainfall.
“The water level of the Brahmaputra and the Ganges has decreased yesterday. The trend will continue due to no rainfall,” said Ripon Karmaker, assistant engineer of FFWC.
Since there is less possibility of rain, it is expected that the flood situation across the country will improve in a week, he added.
Floodwater in Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Netrokona and Sunamganj may recede in the next 72 hours, while the situation in Bogra, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Tangail may improve in the next 48 hours, according to FFWC.
Water-borne diseases are spreading across the flood-affected areas. Many people have taken shelter on embankments, roads and highlands.
People already marooned by floods are facing an acute crisis of food and drinking water.
Allegations are that the government relief materials were insufficient.
“I and other five members of my family are suffering for the last 18 days, but we have not got any relief material from the government or NGO [non-government organisation] or even benevolent people,” said Nur Islam, 65, at Char Gobordhan village in Lalmonirhat.
Nezarat Deputy Collector (NDC) of Bogra Arifuzzaman said the authorities were distributing relief materials among the affected people, but were facing hardship to reach some remote areas due to the huge current in the Jamuna river that was flowing 98 cm above the danger level yesterday.
In Madaripur, 50 metres of the Dhaka-Khulna-Barisal highway protection embankment was damaged at Duttapara in Shibchar.
In Gaibandha, new areas of three upazilas have been inundated with the Ghagot and Jamuna rivers flowing 62 and 19 centimetres above the danger level yesterday.
A large crack developed on the Gaibandha town protection dyke along the Ghagot river. The WDB was trying to repair it.
Large areas of croplands and houses of four union parishads in sadar upazila of Sherpur were flooded as the Brahmaputra swelled further yesterday.
Traffic movement on the Sherpur-Jamalpur highway was disrupted as some portions of it at sadar upazila were submerged.
In Munshiganj, eight villages of sadar and Tongibari upazilas were affected by floods yesterday. As many as 823 families have now been suffering in around a dozen villages under four upazilas of the district. Of them, houses of 49 families were washed away to the Padma river.