Dhaka, Bangladesh
Flood haunts districts, rain swamps Dhaka city

Flood haunts districts, rain swamps Dhaka city

News Desk: Incessant monsoon rains Friday triggered flooding in several parts of the country swelling waters in three of Bangladesh's four river basins, marooning thousands of people and disrupting road communications in different areas. The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) warned rivers could swell further while reports suggest erosion of bank lines in some areas including Manikganj worsened further the deluge situation. "All the major rivers are in rising trend . . . all the major rivers may (continue to) rise in next 72 hours, the FFWC in its latest bulletin said Friday. But the centre predicted a "rapid rise" of water levels in rivers in northeastern Sylhet region, southwestern greater Chattagram ranging from Feni to Hill Tracts and southwestern Barishal region in the next 24 hours until today. The government has started preparations to tackle floods with rivers in 10 districts of the country flowing above the danger level due to heavy rains. Relief in the form of 17,500 metric tonnes of rice, 50,000 packets of dry food and Tk 20.9 million have been sent to these districts. The districts will each receive 500 tents and medical teams within the next few days, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman. The prime minister has instructed the authorities to take extensive preparations amid growing fears of flooding, said Enamur. "The met office has forecast heavy rains over the next few days which could worsen the flood situation." The situation has deteriorated over the last 24 hours in the Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Chattogram, Bandarban, Cox's Bazar and Nilphamari districts, said the state minister. The Jamuna is likely to rise further due to the swelling of the Brahmaputra in India. At the same time, the increase in the Ganga in Bihar could also result in floods in the Padma basin. Enamur said, the authorities have flagged 628 river points across the country as risky. Of these, 26 were marked as 'very risky'. "The water resources ministry ministry has instructed authorities to take appropriate measures at these points. Work is underway to prepare 551 risk-free centres." The Teesta and Dharla rivers are flowing above the danger level, marooning over 12,000 families in Lalmonirhat, while hundreds of establishments face the risk of being swallowed by the Meghna. Our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports that around Thursday noon, the Teesta was flowing 8cm above the danger level Doani point while Dharla has been flowing 7cm above the danger level at Kulaghat point. Rabiul Islam, Executive Engineer of Dalia point of the barrage, said all sluice gates have been opened. Excessive flow of water has led to the inundation of low land and char areas in Lalmonirhat, he said. Academic activities at 30 government primary schools in Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj have been suspended as the institutions went under flood water due to incessant rain for the last six days and onrush of hill water. The students of the flood-affected areas can't attend classes as all the classrooms and playgrounds went under water, said Abu Syed, acting education officer of the upazila. Flood water entered the premises of 17 primary schools on Wednesday while 13 other schools were submerged on Thursday. According to upazila education office, Islampur, Patargaon, Sohala, Gorkati, Pathanpara, Puranlaur, Halhalia, Birendranagar, Kalagaon, SonapurKamnapara, Rangarchhara, Rajaniline, Borochhara, Lalghat, Lakma, Durlavpur, Kamarkandi, Kaukandi, Maharam, Noanagar, Pirojpur, Rafinagar, Sonapur, BalijuriNayahat, Saderkhela, Mandiata, Poilenpur, Matian, Sulemanpur, Nalerband, Shahebnagar, Jamalgarh and Ratansree primary schools have been inundated by flashflood. Besides, flood water entered houses of many people, forcing them to take shelter at a number of primary schools. A heavy rainfall inundated many areas of the capital city of Dhaka in knee-deep water on Friday, causing immense suffering to the city dwellers. Beginning on Friday morning, the rain came down hard around 12:30pm and continued for around two hours. Meanwhile, gridlock on the city's roads and streets brought the double blow with the acute waterlogging that again exposed the poor drainage system. Roads and lanes of Maghbazar, Rajarbagh, Nayapaltan, Motijheel, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Karwan Bazar, Monipuri para, Kazipara, Begum Rokeya Sarani and many low-laying areas were inundated due to rain. Many commuters were seen facing shortage of public transport to reach their destinations. (Inputs taken from UNB)

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