Downpour plays havoc | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:10 PM, June 13, 2017

Downpour plays havoc

Worsens traffic situation as many areas waterlogged

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♦ Rain triggered by depression in Bay 

♦ Ctg city worst affected by waterlogging

♦ Landslide in Rangamati kills child

♦ Intensity of rain to come down today

Incessant rain across the country disrupted people's lives, especially those in Dhaka and Chittagong, flooded streets and caused daylong gridlocks.

A rain-induced landslide claimed the life of a six-year-old girl in Police Lines area of Rangamati.

The apparently ceaseless rain began in the wee hours yesterday in the capital and swamped large parts of it. Traffic inched forward on major thoroughfares throughout the day and many vehicles suffered breakdowns on streets under knee-to-waist-deep water.

The inundations and breakdowns worsened the city's notorious Ramadan traffic, when people throng shopping arcades ahead of Eid. Thousands of city dwellers were trapped in gridlocks and were delayed by hours.

Port city dwellers took the brunt of yesterday's downpour. Roads in many areas went under knee-to-waist-deep water from early morning.

According to the Met office, the entire country experienced the rain due to a depression that formed over the Bay of Bengal.

Dhaka had 112mm of rainfall in 12 hours, from 6:00am yesterday.

The Met office of Patenga, Chittagong, recorded 151mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending at 9:00am yesterday.

Meteorologist Aftab Uddin of Dhaka Met office said the rain would continue today, but its intensity might drop. Southern parts of the country would have more rain today, he said.

Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to hoist local cautionary signal No 3, which means the port is threatened by squally weather.

Dhaka dwellers struggled to get to their destinations yesterday.

An SUV proceeds through a flooded area in Agrabad of Chittagong city. Most of the roads in Dhaka, Chittagong and several other districts went under water after it rained throughout Sunday night and all day yesterday causing trouble for people. Photo: Anisur Rahman/Prabir Das

A major part of the city, including Karwan Bazar, Farmgate, Kazipara, Nightingale intersection, parts of Gulistan, Dhanmondi Road-27, Indira Road, Rajabazar, Bhutergoli, Tallabagh, Sukrabad, Tejkunipara, Green Road, Niketon and Shantinagar areas, went under knee-to-waist-deep water.

"While going to Karwan Bazar from Farmgate, it seemed like we were crossing a river. Water was everywhere," said Palash, an employee at a firm in Segunbagicha.

Faruk Ahmed, a resident of Indira Road, said streets and alleys in his area went under knee-to-waist-deep water. Many had to wade through the water to get to work.

"The water is murky and stinky. The sewers remain clogged all the time and whenever it rains the waste surfaces," he said.

A bike rider braves a flooded street like thousands of others. This photo was taken at the Gulistan area of the capital during the daylong rain yesterday caused by a depression in the bay. The met office recorded 112mm rain till 6pm Monday. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Rokeya Sarani, from Mirpur-10 to Kazipara, went under ankle-to-knee-deep water. Vehicular movement was very slow in the morning, he said.

Shamima Nasrin, a resident of Senpara Parbata of Mirpur-10, said it took her over two-and-a-half-hours to reach Farmgate as there was severe traffic jam due to waterlogging.

"Usually, it takes less than an hour," she said.

Traffic was inching forward between the footbridges at Farmgate and Shahbagh on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue during the rush at 5:00pm. In cases, it took about two hours to travel just three to four kilometres.

"I started from work in Baridhara at 4:30pm and could only get to Kuril after one and a half hours," said a journalist.

A number of people took the social media to express anger and frustration over the poor drainage system of the capital. Some just shared their helplessness.

"I usually don't go out during the iftar time and I think no one should. Over two hours and still stuck in traffic on my way to Bashundhara from Gulshan!" said Trina.

Many rickshaw pullers and auto-rickshaw drivers charged high fares.

"I had to pay Tk 300 to go to Kazipara from Farmgate which is usually around Tk 100," said a city dweller.

CHITTAGONG

Just after 15 days of Cyclone Mora, the dwellers of the port city endured another downpour that flooded many low-lying areas, including Muradpur, Bahaddarhat, Chawkbazar and Probartak intersection.

The residents had previously faced similar difficulties at the end of May, when Cyclone Mora caused heavy rain and flooding in the city.

Rowshan Ara Chowdhury, a resident of Agrabad CDA Residential area, said the ground floor of her house was under water for four days after Mora.

Water rushed in again yesterday.

"I have been living here in CDA Residential area for about 32 years. I've never seen such a situation before," she said.

Like her, thousands of people of South Agrabad and Gosaildanga and parts of North Agrabad and North Middle Halishahar suffered yesterday. It usually takes several days for the water to recede.

"We are sick and tired of the situation. We want a solution," said Mohammad Imran, an auto-rickshaw driver.

The residents blamed the temporary dam on Moheshkhal canal, constructed by Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in September 2015, for their woes and demanded its immediate removal.

The Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), CPA and Bangladesh Water Development Board have decided on June 1 to remove it but it is still there.

"There is an equipment scarcity. We do not get any separate financial allocation to mitigate waterlogging," CCC Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin told reporters during a visit to Beparipara area yesterday.

Two lighter vessels capsized in the Bay while three others ran aground due to strong winds and rough sea.

In Rangamati, Naima Akhter, 6, daughter of Shah Jahan and Moni Akther of Police Lines area, died after a mudslide destroyed their home, said SM Lokman, a resident of the area.

Naima was rescued around 30 minutes later and rushed to Rangamati General Hospital but she was pronounced dead there.

All water transport was suspended from Barisal river port due to adverse weather last night, reports our correspondent there.

The suspension stranded a few thousand passengers at the terminal.

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