• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Flood tightens grip on North

5,000 more marooned; many without relief

Star Report
A policeman pumps out water from the residence of Dhaka SP on Shaheed Capt Monsur Ali Road in the capital's Ramna area yesterday. The SP has been staying out of the house -- at office or relative's. Downpours over the last few days and a sewerage line damage due to Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover construction led to the waterlogging in and around the neighbourhood. The photo was taken around 3:00pm yesterday. Photo: Anisur Rahman
A policeman pumps out water from the residence of Dhaka SP on Shaheed Capt Monsur Ali Road in the capital's Ramna area yesterday. The SP has been staying out of the house -- at office or relative's. Downpours over the last few days and a sewerage line damage due to Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover construction led to the waterlogging in and around the neighbourhood. The photo was taken around 3:00pm yesterday. Photo: Anisur Rahman

With over two lakh people already marooned in several northern and north-eastern districts, more low-lying areas, especially those in the Jamuna basin, are feared to go under water in the next few days.

Though the flood situation in Nilphamari and in some places of Rangpur has improved, vast tracts of shoals in Sundarganj and Phulchhari upzilas in Gaibandha were flooded yesterday, leaving more than 5000 people marooned there.

The water levels of the rivers upstream, mainly the Brahmaputra and the Ganges known as the Jamuna and the Padma respectively once they flow inside Bangladesh, may continue to rise for another two to three days, said Ripon Karmaker, duty officer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) .

This may result in the flooding of low-laying areas of Sirajganj, Bogra, Tangail and Jamalpur, he told The Daily Star yesterday, adding that the water level of the Jamuna was already close to the danger level at several points.

Though the Ganges in India is still swelling up, the Padma waters are still below the danger level. The situation in north-eastern region, which falls in the Meghna basin, has been improved a little as rainfall decreased, he added.

According to a 6:00am bulletin of the FFWC yesterday, the Teesta, the Surma and the Kangsha were flowing above the danger level yesterday.

The water levels at 59 measuring points out of 83 of the rivers across the country showed a rising trend while the levels fell at 22 points and remained steady at one point. One point was unreported. The numbers were 63, 17, two and one respectively on Saturday.

 

LALMONIRHAT

People in the flood hit areas are yet to receive any relief materials from the government or any non-government organisation. Some have taken shelter in school and college buildings but most of the affected people are still at their homestead under knee to waist-deep water.

Water level of Teesta and Dharla rivers decreased yesterday, according to the Water Development Board (WDB) office of Lalmonirhat.

Nabir Hossain, 48, of Chander Char village in Aditmari upazila, said, "We have been suffering a lot since Friday night ... We cannot cook as our houses are under water. So, we are living on dry foods like flattened rice and puffed rice".

Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Habibur Rahman said relief materials would be distributed among the affected people of Patgram, Kaliganj, Hatibandha, Aditmari and Sadar upazilas who have been marooned for the last few days, today and tomorrow.

GAIBANDHA

Onrush of water from the upstream flooded vast tracts of shoals in the Teesta and the Jamuna basins, leaving over 5,000 people of char lands in Sundarganj and Phulchari upazilas stranded yesterday.

In the Teesta basin, over 3,000 flood-hit people shifted to locally built flood shelters and nearby high lands with their cattle and belongings while at least 2,000 people are marooned in four shoal unions along the Jamuna basin in Phulchari Upazila.

Recently planted Aman saplings in the low lying are damaged and jute plants stacked on the dried up tributaries washed away by the surging water.

NILPHAMARI

The flood situation in Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas has improved as the Teesta waters have started receding.

On Saturday, the water level of the Teesta rose to 52.55 centimetres, inundating 15 shoals and leaving 5,000 people stranded.

Mahbubur Rahman, executive engineer of the WDB's Dalia division, yesterday said the situation was likely to improve significantly in the coming hours.

The affected people, who had taken shelter on river embankments and in school and college buildings, have started returning homes.

RANGPUR

Though the flood situation was improving in some places of the district, it remained unchanged in most areas of Gangachara upazila.

WDB sources said the Teesta was flowing nine centimetres above the danger mark at Mohipur point at noon yesterday.

Heavy onrush of water from the upstream damaged at least 500 metre-stretch of an embankment of the Teesta at Paikan-Hajipara and Saudpara of Gangachara on Friday morning and triggered flash flood, leaving around 25,000 people of 34 villages of Alambiditar, Laxmitari, Gajaghanta, Nohali, Kalkand and Mornea unions stranded.

Flood affected people are facing acute crisis of food and drinking water.

Tawhidul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Gangachhara, said he had visited some flood-hit areas and distributed relief materials among the affected families.

Thousands of people of in Sunamjganj, Feni and Sherpur districts have also been marooned due to incessant rains and the onrush of water from rivers upstream in India over the last few days.

Meanwhile, some parts of the capital remained waterlogged yesterday as well due to incessant rains. Pedestrians and vehicles had to wade through knee-deep water on many roads of the city.

Published: 12:01 am Monday, August 18, 2014

Last modified: 10:30 pm Monday, August 18, 2014

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