Floods in Sylhet, Sunamganj: Water receding, but thousands still stranded
With the water levels of the Surma and Kushiyara rivers slowly receding, the damning impacts of the floods in Sylhet and Sunamganj has become more visible.
With thousands of people still stranded in flooded areas, the demand for relief and rehabilitation has further intensified.
Mujibur Rahman, a resident of Fatehpur in Sunamganj's Bishwambharpur, said, "The flood has damaged many homes, including mine. It has damaged the roads, schools … It has destroyed Boro crops and washed away fish from fisheries. We are in a state of distress."
Aleya Begum of Sultanpur area in Sunamganj town's suburbs, said, "Our almost-ripe Boro paddy was submerged but we managed to harvest a few from underwater. However, due to poor weather, we are not being able to dry whatever we could salvage and they are beginning to rot."
Around 20 lakh people of Sylhet and Sunamganj, including parts of Sylhet city, have been affected by the flood, which began on May 12.
Meanwhile, the situation deteriorated in Sunamganj's Derai upazila and Netrakona's Kalmakanda upazila after Puratan Surma and Someshwari rivers started flowing above the danger level on Friday.
According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), the water level in the Surma receded. The river was flowing 70cm above the danger level – 15cm lower from Saturday -- at 3:00pm yesterday.
At the same time, the river was flowing 8cm above the danger level in Sylhet city point (17cm less from) and 15cm below the level in Sunamganj town point (also 17cm less).
Upstream, the Kushiyara was flowing 124cm above the danger level (32cm less from Saturday) in Amolshid of Sylhet's Zakiganj upazila and 46cm above it in Beanibazar's Sheola point (9cm less from Thursday).
The Puratan Surma in Derai upazila was flowing 7cm above the danger level and Someshwari in Kalmakanda point was flowing 23cm above.
FFWC Executive Engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said the flood situation will further improve in Sylhet and Sunamganj but will worsen in Netrokona.
Meanwhile, the increasing floodwater in the low-lying areas of Tangail and Sirajganj over the last few days has inundated many a homestead and crop land.
Moreover, intense erosion has been occurring in Tangail's Sadar and Sirajganj's Shahzadpur upazilas due to the swelling of the Jamuna.
Char Poulee village in Tangail Sadar's Kakua is nearly erased from the map due to dreadful erosion over the last few days.
Several hundred homes and vast agricultural land were already devoured and locals have taken shelter in different areas, locals said.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, chairman of Kakua union parishad, told The Daily Star that although the Water Development Board had dumped some GEO bags to stop erosion last year, no such measures were taken this year.
Meanwhile, around 50 homesteads have been engulfed by the Jamuna in Sirajganj's Shahzadpur upazila in the last few days, while several hundred homes and other establishments in the union are facing the threat of erosion, locals said.
WDB Engineer MD Nasir said, "We are now dumping sand bags in the erosion hit areas."
(Our Sylhet, Pabna and Tangail correpsondents contributed to the report)