Life 'worse than hell'
Roads are under deep water, houses and offices flooded, businesses hurt, livelihoods affected. What else can waterlogging do to the people of Chittagong city?
"It has made our life worse than hell," said Akter Hossain, a resident of Bakalia, one of the several areas of the city perpetually plagued by the problem. "People can't cook food, can't eat, can't go out, and can't even take rest inside home."
In the last six months, the parts of the city prone to waterlogging were flooded at least six times, due to rain and tidal surges. But the latest spell, which began three or four days ago, is the worst, some residents say.
"We've got used to two or three feet deep water during the rainy season. But today, suddenly, the water rose as high as five feet in Chaktai, Khatunganj, Bakalia, Chamrar Gudam areas," said Jamal Hossain, managing director of Jamal and Brothers at Asadganj, one of the trading hubs of the city, as he spoke of the situation yesterday.
"Usually the water surge from Chaktai canal keeps the areas inundated for around 10 to 12 days a month during monsoon, especially on the occasions of full and new moon. We were habituated to that. But what happened today was completely unexpected.”
The businessman said 90 percent of the dry fish businesses, numbering around 350, incurred losses because their stocks were damaged due to flooding. “Traders now fear whether water would further increase during the next tide at night.”
Due to heavy rainfall, coupled with tidal flows, Halishahar, Bakalia, Chandgaon, Agrabad, Bayezid, Muradpur, Chawkbazar, KB Aman Ali Road, and Cement Crossing areas went under knee to chest deep water yesterday.
Meghnath Tounchangya, assistant meteorologist of Patenga Met Office, said 99.8 millimeters of rain was recorded in 24 hours until 3:00pm yesterday.
Talking about the situation at his office in Halishahar, Additional Superintendent of Police of Chittagong Rezaul Masud said, "Today the condition was worse than the previous few days. The whole police lines area went under waist deep water."
The officer said, "Since the beginning of June, we have seen flooding caused by tidal surges and heavy rains... The office rooms at the ground floor went under knee to waist deep water. Documents and electronic gadgets are getting damaged. People coming for urgent services have to go back. Policing has been hampered.”
Meanwhile, according to officials, two international flights could not land as per schedule at Shah Amanat International Airport due to inclement weather.