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One-third of Bangladesh under water in worst floods in a decade

  • Published at 06:17 pm July 15th, 2020
Floodwater reached houses in Rulipara village under Gabsara union under Bhuapur upazila of Tangail <strong>Dhaka Tribune</strong>
File photo: Floodwater reached houses in Rulipara village under Gabsara union of Tangail's Bhuapur upazila on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Over 1.5 million affected as villages, homes submerged

A third of Bangladesh is under water after some of the heaviest rains in a decade, Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) officials have said.

"This is going to be the worst flood in a decade," Bangladesh's FFWC chief Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told AFP.

He said about a third of flood-prone Bangladesh was underwater, and at least 1.5 million people had been affected, with homes and roads in villages flooded.

The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry warned that 23 districts would be affected by the floods.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of FFWC, said: “The water level is rising due to upstream rainfall which will submerge low plain lands in the said districts even more.”

In Kurigram, the Brahmaputra continued to swell while the conditions of 200,000 people marooned in the upazila remained unchanged.

Officials at the Bangladesh Water Development Board said the Brahmaputra was flowing 101cm above the danger level at Chilmari point,  and was above 95cm above at Nunkhawa point.

The water level at the Dharla went up 90cm above the danger mark at Kurigram Bridge Point in the morning on Wednesday.

‘Floods may worsen’

At 9am on Wednesday, the FFWC said that the flood situation in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogra, Jamalpur, Sirajganj, Tangail, Natore, Naogaon, Munshiganj, Manikganj Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari, Shariatpur and Dhaka would deteriorate further in the next 24 hours.

The flood situation may worsen further in 15 northern and central districts due to the rise in the water level of the main rivers, including the Padma, Ganges, Jamuna and Brahmaputra, said the FFWC.

Meanwhile, the flood situation may improve in Sylhet and Sunamganj.

Besides, 16 other rivers of the district are overflowing, keeping 56 unions under water.

According to local residents, floodwaters had entered the villages located in the vicinity of the Brahmaputra and submerged croplands.

Sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said crops on thousands of hectares of lands had been inundated by the floods.

In Sirajganj, around 145,000 people were marooned and many of them began to evacuate to higher places or on the embankment, according to Abdur Rahim, the district's relief and rehabilitation officer.

In Tangail, all the rivers were flowing above the danger mark on Wednesday, leaving thousands marooned.

The Dhaleshwari, Jamuna and Jhinai have been flowing 100cm, 68cm and 64cm respectively above the danger line at three different points on Wednesday at around 9am, according to Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of Tangail Water Development Board (WDB).

According to sources from the district's relief and rehabilitation office, 141 villages in 25 unions in Sadar, Nagarpur, Delduar, Bhuapur, Kalihati and Gopalpur upazilas were flooded, leaving thousands in these areas marooned.

8 drown in five districts

At least eight people drowned in Jamalpur and Gaibandha on Wednesday. Six others drowned in Kurigram, Moulvibazar and Narsingdi on Tuesday.

The deceased were Kota Mondal, 35, of Jamalpur; Hasanat Molla, an one and half year old infant in Gaibandha; Reshmi Begum, 6, and Maria, 5, of Moulvibazar; Amanat Hossain, 8, and Mahfuz, 6, of Narsingdi; Mimi, 8, and one and half a year old Lamia Khatun of Kurigram.

Local police and union parishad chairmen confirmed news of the deaths.

Kota Mondal, Mimi and Lamia died in floodwaters while the rest died after they accidentally fell into water bodies near their houses.

Mehedi Al Amin, Ariful Islam, Kurigram, Aminul Islam Rana, Sirajganj, Abdullah Al Numan, Tangail, Tazul Islam, Gaibandha, Saiful Islam, Moulvibazar, Asaduzzaman Ripon, Narsingdi contributed to this report