The swelling Padma has flooded vast areas of Rajshahi, Pabna and Chapainawabganj following onrush of water from the river’s Indian upstream and incessant rain for the last couple of days.
Our staff correspondent from Rajshahi reports: At least 15,692 people were affected by the flood in Paba, Godagari and Bagha upazilas, said officials at the district administration.
Some 600 families were shifted to safe places in the city, at least 11 educational institutions in Bagha upazila were shut and crops on 102 hectares of land were damaged due to the flood, they said.
In last one week, hundreds of people from low lying char areas took shelter at their relatives’ houses and different slums in the city.
“The flood followed downpour in the upstream of the Padma, which triggered extra flow of water from Indian Bihar state. All gates of the Farakka Barrage in India remained open since beginning of the monsoon,” said Mohammad Ali, chief engineer of Water Development Board’s (WDB) Rajshahi zonal office.
“We are keeping watch on the water level, which was only 41 centimetres below the danger level this [Tuesday] afternoon. The river will continue to rise until the flood situation in India improves,” said the official.
Aminul Haque, district relief and rehabilitation officer, said they distributed 50 tonnes of food grain and 900 packets of dry food among the affected people.
Visiting the Padma bank yesterday, this correspondent saw people from the char areas coming to Rajshahi city with their domestic animals and other belongings in boats.
Sazedur Rahman, a boatman, said he has two homes – one in Rajshahi city, and the other at Char Khanpur where some 200 families like him live. Most of the families have shifted to the city as a large portion of the char went under water.
“Some 365 families of Char Khanpur and Madhya Char were affected. Most people have shifted to the city, but some are still staying on high lands,” said Mofidul Islam Bachchu, chairman of Harian union parishad in Paba.
Our Pabna Correspondent reports: The onrush of water from the upstream in the Padma caused flash floods in many low lying areas of Pabna Sadar, Ishwardi and Sujanagar upazilas in last 24 hours as the river is flowing above the danger level.
“The river was flowing two centimetre above the danger level at Hardinge Bridge point this [Tuesday] morning. The water level may increase next few days due to the onrush of water from the upstream and continuous rain,” Johurul Haque, executive engineer of WDB, told the journalists after visiting the Padma.
Hundreds of houses in Pabna Sadar, Ishwardi and Sujanagar upazilas went under water due to the sudden rise of water level in the Padma.
“The floodwater entered our houses and crop fields so rapidly that we could not save anything,” said Md Belal Hossain of Char Sanikdiar village in Pabna Sadar upazila.
Md Sirajul Islam, district relief and rehabilitation officer, said, “The water level is increasing and district administration is prepared to take necessary steps. The recent rise of water level caused massive damaged to crops. We are collecting information of damage.”
Our Chapainawabganj Correspondent adds: The Padma was flowing 41 centimetres below the danger level at Pankha point of Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj yesterday morning, said Atikur Rahman, sub-divisional engineer of Chapainawabganj Water Development Board.
A few villages in the low areas of Panka union in Shibganj upazila and Narayanpur union in Sadar upazila were flooded due to the rise in water, he said.
The Padma enters Bangladesh from India through Pankha point of Shibganj.