Flood water enters 80% houses in district town
Flash floods, triggered by heavy rains and upstream water, have inundated Sunamganj town and 11 upazilas of the district, rendering thousands of people marooned.
The roads of all the areas in the town -- including Nabinagar, Dhopakhali, Shologhar, Kazirpoint, Tegharia, Sabbarirghat, Hossainbakhat Chattar, Paschim Hajipara, Jagannathbari, Jail Road, Launchghat, Surma Market, Hasannagar, Mallikpur, Kalipur, Raipara, Sompara, Arpinagar and Boropara -- are inundated.
Hundreds of houses in low-lying areas have been flooded. Roads in the municipal area are submerged due to which communication is interrupted. The only way for people to move is to walk.
Road communications on Sunamganj-Bishwambharpur road Tahirpur-Anwarpur, Sunamganj-Ambari, and Sunamganj-Doarabazar road were interrupted while some villages of Dharmapasha upazila’s Chamardi union went under knee-deep water.
On Saturday, the District Flood Control Room said 44,110 families in 29 unions of 9 upazilas -- including Sunamganj Sadar, Tahirpur, Bishwambharpur, Jamalganj, Dharmapasha, Doarabazar, Jagannathpur, Chhatak and Shalla -- have been affected by the downpour and heavy rains.
Number of families affected
Gaurarang, Surma, Jahangirnagar, Rangarchar unions and Sunamganj municipal areas
Fatehpur, Dhanpur, Salukabad and Palash South Badaghat
Beheli and Fenarbak
Chamardani and South Banshikunda
Bahara and Habibpur
Badaghat, Bardal North, Bardal South, Sreepur North, Sreepur South, Balijuri and Tahirpur Sadar
Surma and Doarbazar Sadar
Islampur, Noarai, Kalaruka, Dolarbazar unions and Chhatak municipal areas
Till then, a total of 197 families including 25 from Sadar upazila, 100 from Bishwambharpur upazila, 50 from Chhatak upazila and nine from Doarabazar upazila went to the shelter.
According to the District Department of Agricultural Extension, 3,765 hectares of Aush paddy land and 188 hectares of vegetable fields have submerged under floodwater.
Fatehpur Union Parishad Chairman Ranjit Chowdhury Rajan said more than 400 houses in the union were damaged. Cattle food was wasted after getting soaked in water. Thousands of people are trapped in the water.
Hazrat Ali Suhel, chairman of Dhanpur union, said fishes from many ponds in the union had been washed away. Rural roads have been submerged in flood waters.
Chairman of Sadar Upazila Parishad (UP) Khairul Huda Chapal said Surma and Jahangirnagar unions of Sadar upazila have suffered the most. Besides, the families living in Gochh village of Lakshanashree union have taken shelter in the shelter centre. Dry food has been arranged for them.
Mayor of Sunamganj Municipal Council Nader Bakht said 80% of the municipal area is submerged in floodwater. Roads and houses in residential areas are all flooded. To add to this, the switch-gate connecting the Dhopakhali and Nabigar areas of the city is also under serious threat due to water pressure.
Bishwambharpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Sameer Biswas said flood waters had entered the low-lying areas of the upazila. Direct road communication with the district headquarters is closed. Floodwater is overflowing on various roads.
There has been extensive damage on the lowlands. In these upazilas, houses and seedbeds of Aush have been destroyed. Millions of people have been trapped in the water, he added.
Meanwhile, flood water started entering Sohala village in Tahirpur upazila as an embankment collapsed in the south side of the village.
Md Safar Uddin, deputy director of the District Department of Agricultural Extension, said there would be no damage if the water on Aush paddy land and vegetable fields goes down. If the land is submerged in water for three or four days, then everything will be damaged.
District Fisheries Officer Md Abul Kalam Azad said it was not yet known how many fish had been washed away from the ponds. It will be known when the upazilas sent the reports.
Sobibur Rahman, executive engineer of Sunamganj Water Development Board (WDB), said the Surma River was flowing 46cm above the danger level at 6pm on Saturday while Jadukata River was flowing 57cm above the danger level.
Sobibur also said that 190mm rain was recorded in the last 24 hours in Sunamganj until Saturday evening while 902mm rain, highest of the season, was recorded in 72 hours in Cherrapunji in India until Saturday noon.
The water has been decreasing by 2cm due to lack of rain from 6 pm to 9pm on Saturday. However, if there is no upstream rainfall, the situation will improve rapidly. There is a possibility of more rain in Sunamganj in the next 48 hours, he added.
District Water Development Board (WDB) sources said water continued rising in Surma, Jadukata, Chalti, Khasiamara, Chelanadi, Maharam, Rokti, Boulai and Someshwari rivers in the district.
Relief and rescue operations
Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Ahad said 410 tons of rice and Tk29.70 lakh have been allocated for the affected upazilas. Besides, allocation has been made for distribution of baby food among 4,752 families of the upazilas.
Dry food, pure water and water purification tablets have been prepared and supplied as required at the upazila and union level. List of existing shelters at upazila and union level, contact numbers and shelter based committees have all been prepared. A total of 78 shelter centres have been prepared across the district.
Boats are kept in standby at the local level to assist in relief and rescue operations and their contact numbers of the boatmen have been disseminated. Speed boats have also been arranged at the local level to assist in the rescue and relief work.
Arrangements have been made to keep anyone in a separate place in the shelter if they have coronavirus symptoms. Soap, hand sanitizers and masks have been provided at the shelter. Medical team has been formed to ensure treatment. All necessary measures have been taken through a meeting by the District Disaster Management Committee.
Engineer Moazzem Hossain Ratan, member of parliament (MP) for Sunamganj 1 constituency, said the government and the party are always by the side of the victims. Every affected family will be assisted as required. Necessary relief materials have been allocated for them and more relief will be provided if required.
Fazlur Rahman Misbah, member of parliament for Sunamganj 4 constituency and whip of the opposition party, said the administration and people's representatives have always been by the side of the people.
The situation is being closely monitored at the district and upazila level. In case of any problem, immediate action will be taken. In addition to the flood, all preparations have been made to protect people from the transmission of the coronavirus.