Swollen rivers wreak havoc | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:54 AM, July 29, 2020

Swollen rivers wreak havoc

Many dams, a major ferry terminal damaged

Floodwater has destroyed embankments in many areas, inundating villages and causing people immense sufferings.

In Faridpur, a 50-metre portion of the 4-kilometre long district town protection dam was washed away by floodwater at Beelgozaria area under Sadar upazila, as of yesterday.

Vast swathes of land and houses were submerged.

Earlier on July 19, floodwaters broke 22-metre of the dam on the same spot, inundating around 50 houses.

Officials of the local Water Development Board (WDB) tried to repair the dam temporarily by dumping sand-filled geo-textile bags.

But a portion of temporary repair was breached yesterday.

A total of 1,84,833 people have been affected by flood in the district as the Padma river is flowing 119 cm above the danger mark, recorded at the Goalanda ghat point.

Many flood-hit people along with their livestock have taken shelter in safe places.

In Gaibandha, around 1 lakh people of 20 villages under Gobindaganj upazila have been waterlogged since an embankment broke down on July 25.

A 40-metre long portion of the 39-km long Balua Flood Control Dam was breached at Bochadoha on Saturday, while another 30-metre broke of the dam at Balua area on Monday.

Along with houses, a vast area of Aman paddy croplands and sugarcane fields were inundated.

"Different parts of the dam were breached in the last three years as officials of WDB do not work properly," Md Zafirul Islam, a resident of Gobindaganj's Balua village, alleged.

"Our house was located next to the dam. When a portion of the dam suddenly broke on Monday, our house was submerged instantly," said Abu Sayeed, a resident of Nayapara village under the same upazila.

Many villagers are suffering from a shortage of food and drinking water.

Moklesur Rahman, executive engineer of Gaibandha WDB, said, "Some portions of the dam were breached multiple times in the last three years as the soil here is weak."

In Tangail, the district town protection dam is under threat due to severe current of the Pungli river, a branch of the mighty Jamuna.

Local WDB officials said the Pungli's current becomes stronger at the curves and a number of cracks have appeared along the dam in those places.

"We are trying to protect the dam by dumping geo bags on a temporary basis. We  are on vigil round the clock to protect the dam," said Md Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of Tangail's WDB.

In Manikganj, the flood situation has further deteriorated as the Padma, Jamuna, Dhaleswari and Kaliganga rivers were flowing above the danger mark.

Except for the Jamuna, water of the other three rivers has continued to rise, said local WDB officials yesterday afternoon. 

Over six lakh people have been affected by the flood in the district.

In Munshiganj, the swollen Padma washed away the Shimulia ferry terminal and a portion of the approach road, yesterday at noon.

Ferry service in Shimulia-Kathalbari route was disrupted and all the Ro-Ro ferry service was suspended.

"We are trying to make an alternative arrangement. But the river is very rough with severe current," said Khaja Mia, chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), yesterday.

"If we cannot make an alternative arrangement, we will request all vehicles to take the Paturia-Doulatdia route," he added.

An official from the Shimulia ghat said, the ferry terminal was floating in the river as its pillars were eroded by the Padma.

Besides, the connecting road to the terminal,  a food store of BIWTC and a mosque were also eroded, he added.

A large number of vehicles were waiting on both sides of the river to cross through the route.

Meanwhile, water of the rivers surrounding the capital are also showing a rising trend, said a bulletin of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), yesterday.

The bulletin mentioned that the trend will continue today.

A total of 18 rivers across the country were flowing above danger level yesterday, according to the FFWC.

Over 47 lakhs of people of 153 upazila under 31 districts have been affected by flood, according to the latest report of National Disaster Response Coordination Centre.

Our correspondents from Faridpur, Gaibandha, Tangail and Manikganj contributed to the story.

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