• Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Freedom in the air

Two lakh people marooned

Rain, water from rivers upstream inundate five districts

Staff Report
Water is rushing in yesterday through cracks of Laxmipur dyke in Doarabazar upazila of Sunamganj district. Photo: Star
Water is rushing in yesterday through cracks of Laxmipur dyke in Doarabazar upazila of Sunamganj district. Photo: Star

Incessant rains and the onrush of water from rivers upstream in India over the last few days flooded several northern and north-eastern districts in the country.

Around two lakh people in six districts -- Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Feni and Sherpur -– have been marooned. Many of them are living on the rooftops in helpless condition.

The situation may not improve in one or two days, said an official of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), adding that new areas might go under water if the rain continued.

The water level of the rivers upstream has been rising and may continue for another two to three days, resulting in the rise of water levels on this side in Bangladesh, said Ripon Karmaker, an officer of FFWC, yesterday.

Several major rivers like Jamuna will flow at a higher level, which may cause floods in low-lying areas of Sirajganj, Bogra and Faridpur, he added.

Flash floods in north-east (Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrakona) and south-east (Parbatya Chittagong) areas are mainly caused by continuous rains. The situation in these areas may deteriorate further as the weather office has forecast more rain in the next two to three days, Ripon said.

According to a bulletin issued by FFWC, Teesta, Surma and Kangsha rivers were flowing above the danger level yesterday. The water levels at 63 measuring points out of 83 of the rivers across the country showed a rising trend while the levels fell at 17 points and remained steady at two points while one point was unreported.

Water at Teesta Barrage point in Nilphamari yesterday swelled to 52.78 metres, 0.38 metres above the danger level. Photo: Star
Water at Teesta Barrage point in Nilphamari yesterday swelled to 52.78 metres, 0.38 metres above the danger level. Photo: Star

LALMONIRHAT

More than one lakh people of Patgram, Kaliganj, Hatibandha, Aditmari and sadar upazilas of the district have been marooned, as the areas have been submerged by rising water.

Both Teesta and Dharla rivers were flowing above the danger level, officials of the Water Development Board (WDB) told our Lalmonirhat correspondent.

Teesta Barrage area was on red alert yesterday and the people living in adjoining areas were evacuated to a safe zone, said Mahbubur Rahman, executive engineer of WDB, Lalmonirhat.

India has kept all the gates of Teesta Barrage on its side at Gajoldoba point open, prompting WDB to keep all 52 gates of Teesta Barrage here open since yesterday morning to release the extra water, he said.

Mahbubur added that if rain and water flow continued, WDB officials would cut the by-pass of the barrage to save it.

Around 5,000 people at 15 shoals of the Teesta in Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas have been marooned since the river began swelling Friday afternoon due to heavy rain.

The rainwater receded slightly yesterday afternoon but the river was still flowing above the danger level, our Nilphamari correspondent reported quoting WDB officials as saying.

With the rise of Teesta water, its tributaries like Charalkata, Buri Teesta, Dewnai, Buri Khora, Jamuneswari and Panga have swelled, inundating vast areas of Amon and vegetable fields, local people said.

The heavy current of the river made several points of the embankment along the Teesta vulnerable.

Some 1,000 people of Kisamoter char in Dimla upazila took shelter at an elevated-area recently built to avoid floods while many in other shoals are living either on rooftops or on their wooden cots raised by bamboo poles or on rafts made of bamboos.

A WDB executive engineer, however, claimed that the situation was still under control.

SUNAMGANJ

Continuous onrush of floodwater for more than a week affected lives of as many as 10,000 people in Duarabazaar, Tahirpur, Jamalganj and Biswamvarpur upazilas, reports our Moulvibazar correspondent.

Some 30 embankments in the upazilas were at risk and may collapse anytime, said Saud Ahmed, executive engineer of WDB, Sunamganj.

Thirty dykes are also at risk due to the onrush of water, WDB officials said.

Crops on four thousand hectares of land have been flooded, local people said. At the time of their misery, the farmers are also forced to sell their domestic animals at low prices.

RANGPUR

At least 500 meters of embankment along the Teesta in Paikan-Hajipara and Saudpara villages under Gangachara upazila of Rangpur has been damaged, causing flash floods.

Flash floods caused sufferings to at least 25,000 people at 34 villages of Alambiditar, Laxmitari, Gajaghanta, Gangachara, Nohali, Kolkond and Mornea unions of the upazila, reports our Rangpur correspondent.

“We are facing acute shortage of food and drinking water,” said Kalim Uddin, of Paikan-Hajipara village.

FENI

The flood situation in Fulgachi upazila of Feni was slightly improving but four other villages went under water yesterday.

Some 15 villages in the upazila had been submerged as the embankments along Muhuri and Kahua rivers developed cracks at three points on Thursday following heavy rains and the onrush of water.

SHERPUR

Meanwhile, low-lying 10 villages in Jhinaigati upazila of Sherpur were flooded yesterday, leaving several hundred people marooned.

Published: 12:02 am Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last modified: 9:21 pm Sunday, August 17, 2014

TAGS: Incessant rains onrush of water Indian upstream living on the rooftops Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre

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