Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogra, Sirajganj and Tangail districts are likely to bear the brunt of this monsoonal flood
The northern part of Bangladesh should brace for heavy flooding within the next two days, especially in the Brahmaputra basin, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) has warned.
The flood situation was already worsening in different areas of Kurigram on Friday, with the swollen Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers leaving around 50,000 people marooned.
Water had also started to inundate many areas of Islampur upazila in Jamalpur, while a number of villages in Nilphamari’s Sadar upazila were deluged following the onrush of water from hills and incessant rainfall upstream.
“Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogra, Sirajganj, and Tangail districts are likely to bear the brunt of this monsoonal flood, as the water is gradually coming down from Assam in India,” FFWC Executive Engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said.
According to the FFWC – an arm of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) – the water level of the rivers in the Brahmaputra basin was still rising on Friday, and would continue to do so “for the next three to four days.”
Following the rainfall, 54 of 94 river monitoring stations were experiencing rising water levels, while the level fell in 39 stations and remained unchanged at one station.
It meant that 10 distinct points along the Surma, Kushiyara, Old Surma, Dharla and Teesta rivers – located in the country’s north and north-eastern zones – were already flowing above the danger level.
Of those, water levels of the Dharla at Kurigram were 31cm above the danger level, BWDB officials said.
The FFWC were also forecasting more points along the Brahmaputra basin to be flowing above the danger level by the end of Friday.
Next door in India, the country’s meteorological department has projected that the Assam and Meghalaya states will see widespread rainfall until July 11.
This spells bad news for the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, which is located downstream from Meghalaya state and has already been experiencing flooding for the past few days.
Flood hits Kurigram
Low-lying areas of many unions in the district’s Sadar, Bhurungamari, Phulbari, Rajarhat, Ulipur, Chilmari and Nageshwari upazilas were flooded on Friday, leaving thousands of people marooned in more than 50 villages.
Hundreds of families, who have lost everything in the flood, are yet to receive any kind of relief. Road communications in all these areas were also cut off due to the rising waters.
Apart from Dharla, the water level in the Brahmaputra went up by 35cm, in Dudhkumar by 32cm, and in Teesta by 25cm in only 24 hours.
The unions that were either flooded or facing inundation due to the overflowing rivers, collapsing dams and erosion included Holokhana, Bhogdanga, Panchgachi, Gharialdanga, Begumgonj, Buraburi, Thetrai and Ranigonj.
The flooding has destroyed crops and vegetables in numerous fields around the district.
Local BWDB officials said they were working on repairing the dams damaged due to the overflowing water in different upazilas.
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Water enters Jamalpur
The water flowing from upstream had started flooding the low-lying areas of Shapdari, Noarpara, Chinaduli, Belghacha and Kulkandi unions in the district’s Islampur upazila on Friday.
“The water in Brahmaputra was flowing 40cm below the danger level at Islampur’s Bahadurabad Ghat point at 5pm,” the local BWDB deputy assistant engineer, Ashraful Islam, said on Friday.
“At this rate, the water level would cross the danger mark within the next 24 hours.”
The flooding in the district has also severed road communications between different upazilas, adding to the sufferings of the people.
Around 20 chars and villages in the district’s Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas were inundated by floodwater, leaving hundreds of families marooned.
BWDB sources said the Teesta River was flowing 6cm below the red mark on Friday afternoon.
“All the sluice gates of the Teesta Barrage have been opened to manage the pressure of water,” Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury, BWDB executive officer at Dalia point, said.
Sylhet getting better
The situation improved in Sylhet on Friday, however, with floodwaters receding far enough in Gowainghat and Companiganj upazilas to enable vehicles to return to the Sari-Gowainghat and Sylhet-Gowainghat roads.
The onrush of water from the hills on the Indian side had been slow up to Friday, keeping the water level in the Sari and Piyain rivers below the danger mark.
However, local farmers reported that seed beds and arable land in large swathes of the upazilas had already been destroyed due to the floods.
Meanwhile, the body of Abdur Rashid, 26, who went missing after a boat capsized in Gowainghat upazila on Wednesday, was found floating in the floodwater around 2pm on Friday.