Water resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud has warned of a possible, large-scale flood in the country late next month and instructed the deputy commissioners to prepare to tackle it.
“Since the country experienced a double rainfall, we have been warned of a high magnitude flood,” he told reporters yesterday, but did not say where this warning came from.
“This will happen in the third week of August. That's why the water development board has been asked to make necessary preparation in this regard,” he said, briefing journalists after yesterday's session of the three-day conference of the district commissioners that began on Tuesday.
However, an official of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, which is under the water resources ministry, said they could not forecast a flood five/six days before it actually occurs.
Asked to comment about the minister's warning, he said, “There could be a high magnitude flood only if the monsoon remains very active in the upstream of the Padma, Meghna and Jamuna river system and if there is a huge rainfall.”
But currently, the water level of all these rivers is far below the danger mark. Also, it is impossible to forecast accurately at this moment if there would be heavy rain in the third week of August, the official said, asking not to be named.
Historically, floods in August are caused by the Padma. But if the water level of the Jamuna and and the Meghna increases at the same time, it could cause a high magnitude flood.
A flood is treated as high magnitude if it inundates an area of over 30,000sqkm.
Meanwhile, local government, rural development and cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said the waterlogging problem would resolved soon.
“I promise that you will not see these [waterlogging] from next year,” he told reporters at the secretariat yesterday, emerging from the DC conference.
Bangladesh has already experienced two bouts of flood this year -- one in March in the haor regions and this month's ongoing inundation in Sylhet and northern districts.
At the deputy commissioners' conference on Tuesday, the relief and disaster management ministry issued a preparation advice. The advice was repeated yesterday with “specific information”.
The deputy commissioners have been directed to repair weak embankments, said the water resources minister.
About the recent inundation of several districts, including Dhaka and Chittagong, the minister said it was not a flood, rather waterlogging caused by incessant rain.
He also stressed on the need for river dredging to avoid erosion and assured that his ministry would spend half of its total allocation for dredging work in future.