• Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Floods rage thru' north

100 more villages inundated as Bogra embankment washed away; erosion takes alarming turn

Star Report
Inundated houses in Rohodoha of Shariakandi upazila of Bogra after the Jamuna washed away 300 metres of a dyke. Photo: Star
Inundated houses in Rohodoha of Shariakandi upazila of Bogra after the Jamuna washed away 300 metres of a dyke. Photo: Star

With the flood situation in the north showing no sign of improvement, more than one lakh people of 100 villages were freshly affected after a portion of the flood control embankment by the Jamuna river collapsed in Bogra yesterday.

Including them, about nine lakh people have now been hit by the monsoonal flood in 19 districts, according to government figures.  

Marooned for over two weeks, many of these people have little or no food, drinking water and sanitation facilities. Authorities are distributing relief materials in the affected districts, but they are not adequate, according to flood victims and our correspondents.    

It is highly unlikely that the situation will improve before the first week of next month, as the Brahmaputra and the Teesta rivers are swelling further, said officials at the disaster management ministry.

Water levels of all major rivers except for the Ganges are also increasing, and new areas of the central parts of the country, including the capital, are likely to be flooded in a day or two, according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

Some low-lying areas around the capital are already under water. The affected areas include Nandipara, Vatara, Badda, Dakkhinkhan, Uttarkhan and Demra. The situation may worsen in the next two days, as water levels of the rivers surrounding the capital may rise, an FFWC bulletin said. 

The situation in Bogra worsened all of a sudden yesterday morning when at least 300 metres of the flood control embankment fell down. The collapse happened near Rohodoha (Shekhpara) bazar area under Kamalpur union of Shariakandi upazila, reports our district correspondent.

The Jamuna water was gushing through the opening into the nearby areas, bringing some 100 villages of five upazilas under water, said sources in the Water Development Board (WDB).

The upazilas are Sonatola, Shariakandi, Dhunat, Gabtoli and Sherpur.

Jamuna washed away 300 metres of a dyke early yesterday flooding homes of thousands and their cropland. Photo: Star
Jamuna washed away 300 metres of a dyke early yesterday flooding homes of thousands and their cropland. Photo: Star

Fifty villages have been worst-hit where most roads and hundreds of hectares of paddy and vegetables fields have been inundated and many bridges and culverts are feared to be going under water, WDB officials said.

At least 20 houses near the embankment were washed away and the villagers took shelter on high grounds and on the roofs of their neighbours' home. 

Local lawmaker Abdul Mannan gave 20 boats for rescuing the affected people in the area.

There were no reports of deaths or anyone going missing.

With water levels rising, high tides in the Jamuna, Padma, Teesta, Ghagot, Dharla,  Feni and Arial Khan are eroding embankments, roads, bridges, houses, schools and croplands, report our district correspondents.

Md Arifuzzaman, NDC of Bogra, said Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner Helal Uddin Ahmad visited the flood affected areas yesterday morning and distributed relief materials, including food and cash.

In Lalmonirhat, although the flood situation improved slightly in 90 villages of 19 unions yesterday, river erosion continued in many places.

About 120 families have been rendered homeless due to the erosion of the Teesta and Dharla in 24 hours since Thursday evening.

At least 500 acres of arable land and a good number of fruit orchards and bamboo clusters have been swallowed by the two rivers, sources said.

Meanwhile, sufferings of the flood-hit people continued, with many are yet to get relief materials.

Moksed Ali, 62, is one of these affected people of Kutibari village in Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat.

”We got just 10kg of rice so far, but most of the villagers did not get any help from the government or non-government organisations," he told The Daily Star.

The flood situation in Sirajganj worsened due to the sudden rise in the Jamuna water while an embankment in Kazipur upazila collapsed, flooding some five hundred houses early hours yesterday.

Some fresh areas of Tangail, Benapole, Madaripur and Munshiganj also went under water yesterday.

A bridge and a partially collapsed school under flood water in Islampur of Jamalpur yesterday. Several educational institutions of the district had to be closed due to the floods. Photo: Banglar Chokh
A bridge and a partially collapsed school under flood water in Islampur of Jamalpur yesterday. Several educational institutions of the district had to be closed due to the floods. Photo: Banglar Chokh

The Dhaka-Khulna-Barisal highway faces the threat of being submerged, as the 250-metre protection embankment some 200 metres from it has been washed away, according to our Madaripur correspondent.

The Padma devoured at least 30 houses in Lauhaganj, Sreenagar and Tongibari upazilas while several thousand people in those upazilas remained marooned for the past few days.

Other districts affected by the flood include Jamalpur, Netrokona, Faridpur, Rajbari, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Manikganj and Sylhet.

The situation in Shariatpur and Madaripur may deteriorate further today.

For the flood affected people, the disaster management and relief ministry has so far distributed 2,691 tonnes of food and Tk 52 lakh.

“We are giving relief materials to the affected people in different areas, but still many people are suffering and we need to undertake a long-term programme for them," said Abdul Wazed, director general of the disaster management department.  

Published: 12:02 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

Last modified: 8:57 pm Saturday, August 30, 2014

TAGS: floods flood situation relief materials Bogra embankment washed Brahmaputra

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