Saturday 10, December 2022

Worsening flood situation: 800,000 people marooned in Sylhet

News Desk: Flood water inundated new areas, including Sunamganj district town and many remote villages, on Thursday marooning around eight lakh people in Rangpur and Sylhet divisions, officials said.

The situation worsened in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts as the water in the Teesta and Dharla rivers was flowing beyond the danger mark.

Sunamganj district town and one-third of Sylhet city also went under flood water on Thursday, disrupting road communication and making thousands of people suffer in the areas.

Mawlana Osman Gani, the imam of the Alimbag Jame Mosque in Sunamganj town, said that they had to offer the Asr prayer on the first floor as the ground floor of the mosque went under knee-deep water.

Jewel Ahmed, a resident of Sunamganj, said that the road communication between Sunamganj and divisional city Sylhet remained disconnected since Thursday noon as many parts of the regional highway went under flood water.

The road communication between the district and the upazila headquarters also remained suspended due to flood water, he said.

An employee of the Sylhet water development board said that low-lying areas of all upazilas and some 80 to 90 per cent of at least six upazilas in the district were flooded again within a month of the devastating mid-May flood.

District WDB executive engineer Asif Ahmed told that intermittent rainfall for a week along with a huge onrush of upstream water resulted in the second flood in Sylhet in a month, aggravating the suffering of people.

Companiganj upazila chairman Shamim Ahmed told in the afternoon that nearly 90 per cent of villages of his upazila had been flooded this time.

‘We don’t know what is lying ahead of us,’ he said.

An official at the district relief and rehabilitation office in Sylhet informed that more than 3,00,000 people had been affected newly by flood water that began inundating many areas of the locality on Wednesday morning.

‘Gowainghat, Kanaighat, Companiganj, Jaintapur, Sadar and Biswanathpur upazilas are the worst affected ones,’ he said, adding that low-lying areas of the remaining seven upazilas of Sylhet also went under water.

District’s relief and rehabilitation officer Nurul Islam said some 4,400 people have been taken to 69 shelters in the district while nearly 450 shelter centres have been prepared to accommodate flood-affected people.

Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury said that almost one-third of the city area had gone under flood water by Thursday afternoon.

He said that 31 shelters were opened in different wards of the city corporation and 30 tonnes of rice along with a sufficient number of packed dry foods were allotted for the flood-hit city dwellers.

The Sunamganj water development board executive engineer told New Age that the Surma was flowing 74 centimetres above the danger level at Sholaghar Point in the town on Thursday afternoon.

He added that 185 millimetres of rainfall were recorded in the district in 24 hours.

Sunamganj deputy commissioner Zahangir Hossain said that the flood in the district has broken all previous records, adding that they opened 49 shelters so far.

The Surma was flowing above 93cm above the danger point at Kanaighat while the Kushiara was flowing above 33cm at Fenchuganj and the Sari was flowing 45cm above at Sarighat point, according to the WDB.

Most of the low-lying areas in the Rangpur districts have been submerged.

Around 25,000 people in Gaibandha, 90,000 people in Kurigram, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and 30,000 people in Nilphamari were stranded due to the flood, according to official data.

Around 20,000 people in Gaibandha Sadar, Fulchari, Sundurgonj and Saghata upazilas have been affected by flood water, said Edris Ali, district relief and rehabilitation officer.

Over 4,500 hectares of cropland had gone under flood water, he added.

In Kurigram, the water in the Brahmaputra was flowing 32cm below the danger level at Chilmari point at 9:00am Thursday while the water in the Dharla river was flowing 3cm above the danger level at Dharla bridge point in Sadar upazila, according to the Kurigram Water Development Board.

Around 90,000 people took shelter on the banks of the Brahmaputra, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers in the district and had been suffering from food and safe drinking water crisis.

The government relief has not yet reached the flood-affected people, the victims said.

Ayub Ali, chairman of Jatrapur Union Parishad in Kurigram Sadar upazila, said that he received some relief goods, but those were inadequate as an increasing number of people were getting affected.

More relief materials would be distributed among the flood-hit people today or tomorrow, he said.

Kurigram district’s relief and rehabilitation officer Haider Ali Sarkar said that government relief for the flood victims had been sent to the areas and was being distributed.

A letter has been sent to the disaster management ministry seeking more relief assistance for the victims, he said.


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