Fresh areas go under water as rivers swell
Swelling rivers in the country’s north inundated fresh areas yesterday, leaving more people displaced and houses, schools, croplands submerged.
Strong currents of water collapsed three flood control embankments in Jamalpur and Bogra.
According to the Water Development Board (WDB), the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Kangsha, Surma, Dhaleswari and Lakhya flowed above danger level in at least 10 points on the day.
“Downpours, mostly in the Indian bordering hills, are causing rise in water level in the Brahmaputra and Jamuna basins. Water level there will remain more or less steady in the next five days,” said Amirul Hossain, executive engineer at Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of WDB.
The overall flood situation during the period will improve in Rangpur, Kurigram and Gaibandha, but will deteriorate slightly in Bogra, Pabna, Sirajganj and Tangail.
Meanwhile, ferry services on the Mawa-Kawrakandi route in the Padma resumed partially around 8:30am yesterday.
The services came to a halt around 9:00pm Tuesday due to erosion of the river at the Mawa ferry terminal, snapping road communications between the capital and 21 southern districts.
River erosion engulfed at least 60 shops, damaged portions of the Mawa approach road and left a jetty at the Mawa terminal inoperative.
BIWTC manager at Mawa terminal, Sirajul Haq said, “No truck will be allowed to board the ferries. As there are strong currents in the river, four tug boats have been employed to pull the dump ferries which would take five to six hours to cross the river.”
Visiting the Mawa ferry terminal yesterday, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan instructed the authorities concerned to resume normal ferry services on the route at the earliest.
“Vehicles will board the ferries using two jetties. If necessary, the ferries will carry passengers also,” he told newsmen.
In Dhunat upazila of Bogra, four primary schools were closed as water from the Jamuna basin entered those institutions after flood control dykes in Dhunat and Sariakandi collapsed yesterday.
Local WDB officials said they were dumping sand-filled bags along the dykes to minimise leakage of water. Several thousand people have been affected by flooding in the two upazilas. Many of them moved their belongings to safer places.
In Jamalpur Sadar upazila, around 200 metres of Hargila flood control embankment under Noapara union breached yesterday. Some 3,000 families were displaced in Islampur upazila, said Upazila Nirbahi Officer Masumur Rahman.
Agriculture officials said crops on some 13,000 hectares of land went under water in the district. They feared that the crops would be damaged completely if floodwater did not recede there within next six days.
In Phulchari and Shaghata upazilas of Gaibandha, floods have affected around 20,000 people. Some 230 houses in five villages under Uriya union were washed away by strong currents of water.
About 1,500 hectares of croplands went under water in Gaibandha Sadar, Sundarganj, Phulchari and Shaghata upazilas. Upazila officials said they distributed 30 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 30,000 among the flood victims.
In Kurigram, nearly two lakh people in the shoals of the district remained stranded by flooding in last one week. Around 11,000 hectares of cropland have been submerged.
Flood displaced some 500 families in three unions under Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj yesterday. Earlier, around 15,000 families and a huge tract of cropland in the district were affected by the deluge.
Upazila education officials said 22 primary schools in Chowhali upazila were inundated by flooding.
The receding water of the Dharla and Teesta in Lalmonirhat has damaged some 200 houses in Lalmonirhat Sadar, Hatibandha, Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas since Tuesday afternoon.
“The erosion of the Teesta took a serious turn in the district. It destroyed many houses, including mine. Where shall we go now?” questioned a hapless Altafur Rahman Sarker, 65, of Khuniyagach village under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
Al Mamun, sub-divisional engineer of WDB, said there was no special fund to check erosion immediately.
Our correspondents in Munshiganj, Bogra, Jamalpur, Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat contributed to this report.