3 dead in full fury of flood; 6.5 lakh marooned

12 Jul 2017, 22:17

Online Desk

Dhaka: The overall flood situation in six districts worsened further as major rivers there kept overflowing on Wednesday, leaving three people in Kurigram and Gaibandha dead, and hitting hard the normal life and academic activities.

The flood situation deteriorated in Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Bogra districts while it is improving in Sylhet and Moulvibazar districts.

People in the flood-hit districts have been going through immeasurable sufferings for lack of adequate food and safe water.

The floodwaters have inundated fresh areas of the six districts, halting academic activities at hundreds of educational institutions.

According to reports reaching the news agency UNB desk, the water levels in all the rivers, including Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Jamuna, Korotoa, Ghaghot and Dudhkumar, in the districts continued to rise due to the onrush of water and heavy downpour.

A total of 6.5 lakh people - 1 lakh in four upazilas of Lalmonirhat, over 1.7 lakh in 250 villages under five upazilas of Kurigram, more than 1 lakh in Sirajganj, 50,000 in Bogra, 95,000 in Gaibandha, 400 in Tangail and 1 lakh inhabitants in Jamalpur -- were left marooned by the flood in the six districts.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said around 6.5 lakh people of 13 districts have become flood victims.

While briefing reporters on the flood situation, he said the flood-hit districts include Sirajgang, Bogra, Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Jamalpur,Tangail, Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Cox's Bazar.

In Lalmonirhat, over 1 lakh people of the Teesta basin were trapped in floodwaters.

At least 36 villages of 16 unions in Hatibandha, Kaliganj, Aditmari and Sadar upazilas remained under water for the past four days.

The Teesta River was flowing 30 cm above the danger level at Kulaghat point while 5 cm lower from the red mark at Doani point on Wednesday morning.

Thousands of families were marooned under floodwaters as embankments in Kutirpar area in Aditmari upazila broke down.

Water Development Board Executive Engineer at Dalia Mostafizur Rahman said the water flow of the Teesta has decreased slightly as India closed 10 gates of its Gojaldoba Barrage.

To control the water, the Teesta Barrage authorities have opened all the gates of the barrage at Dalia point, according to sources at the local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board.

The flood-affected people were suffering much for lack of pure drinking water, sanitation, food and shelters.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed distributed relief materials among 400 flood victims of Char Bairati area in the morning. But most of the sufferers in 63 chars got no government relief, many of them claimed.

In Kurigram, two people drowned in Sadar and Chilmari upazilas on Wednesday as fresh areas went under water in the district due to the increase in water levels of all the rivers, including the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla and Dudhkumar.

Sources at the control room opened at the Civil Surgeon office said Laily Begum, 22, wife of Saidur Rahman of Shahkahat village in Chimari, and Hamidul Haque, 17, son of Panir Uddin of Khamar Halokhana village in Sadar upazila drowned in the floodwater.

The Brahmaputra was flowing 32 cm above the danger level at Chilmari point while the Dharala 25 cm above the danger mark at the Bridge point.

Over 2 lakh people in over 250 villages, including chars of 35 unions, in Ulipur, Chilmari, Roumari, Rajibpur, Nageshwari and Sadar upazilas were hit hard by the flood.

The scarcity of food and pure drinking water has turned acute in the flood-affected areas.

Waterborne diseases were spreading fast in the flood-hit areas while no relief or medicine reached the victims yet.

More than 150 educational institutions were shut down while examinations of 145 institutions suspended following the flood, locals said, adding that 771 hectares of cropland were inundated.

Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan said some 2,250 tonnes of rice and Tk 5 lakh in cash were allocated for the flood-affected people. "All preparations have been taken to face the flood situation," he said.

In Sirajganj, the flood situation in five upazilas -- Kazipur, Shahzadpur, Belkuchi, Chouhali and Sadar - has taken a serious turn following the rise in water level of the Jamuna River, worsening the woes of the flood-affected people.

Fresh areas went under water as the Jamuna was flowing 69 cm above the red mark today.

Several hundred acres of cropland were inundated by the floodwater.

Meanwhile, the leave of all staff of the deputy commissioner's office has been cancelled to face the situation.

In Jamalpur, six unions of Islampur, Dewanganj, Madarganj and Sarishabari upazilas newly went under water as the Jamuna was flowing 78 cm above the danger level at Bahadurabad Ghat point.

Besides, 77 hectares of seedbeds, 133 hectares of Aus paddy and 449 hectares of vegetable fields were inundated by the floodwaters in Islampur, Dewanganj and Sarishabari upazilas, said Abu Hanif, training officer at the local Department of Agricultural Extension office.

The local administration has, meanwhile, allocated 130 tonnes of rice, Tk 2.2 lakh in cash and 2,000 dry foods for the flood-hit people in four upazilas of the district.

A total of 77 medical teams have been formed to provide treatment to people affected by waterborne diseases, said Civil Surgeon Dr Md Mushair-ul-Islam (Ratan).

District Education Officer (Secondary) of Jamalpur Mokhlesur Rahman said 2nd terminal examinations have been postponed at 29 high schools and madrasahs in six upazilas of the district.

Besides, some 119 government primary schools were declared shut in the six upazilas due to the flood, said district primary education officer Md Shahidul Islam.

In Bogra, the flood situation of the district worsened as many fresh areas -- Sariakandi, Shonatala and Dhanut upazilas -- were submerged as the water of the Jamuna was flowing 60 cm above the danger level in Sariakandi upazila.

The flood situation deteriorated in Kutubpur, Boyrakandi, Chandanbaish and Kamalpur unions of Sariakandi upazila, rendering 50,000 people marooned.

Some 451 houses were devoured by the river water while 3,780 hectares of jute, vegetable and seedbeds were inundated by the flood water.

In Gaibandha, a baby, aged one and half years, drowned in the Brahmaputra River at West Batikajhuri village in Sadar upazila on Wednesday.

Abdus Salam Zakir, chairman of Kamargari union, said Swapna, fell into the swelling river in the afternoon.

The water of the Brahmaputra was flowing 55 cm above the danger level while water of the Ghaghot 41 cm above the red mark.

Around 95,000 people in four upazilas of the district were marooned by the flood water.

Gaibandha Civil Surgeon Dr Amir Ali said 120 medical teams were formed to tackle the situation. Besides, the District Primary Education Office announced to shut down 61 primary schools along the riverbanks.

In Tangail, some 400 people were marooned in Bhuapur upazila of the district following the increase of river water.

The Disaster Management and Relief Minister said the government has taken all-out measures for affected people as flood hit 45 upazilas in 13 districts.

Maya said that the government, meanwhile, allotted Tk 1.9 crore and distributed 4,000 tonnes of rice and 18,500 packets containing nine items of dry foods under the relief work.

The government has enough relief materials for the affected people, he told the media.

Water has crossed danger level at 12 points while increased at 45 spots out of 90, Maya said.