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Slow improvement in flood situation

Water receding slowly, inundating low-lying areas

June 23, 2022 00:00:00

Flood-affected people stretch their arms to collect relief material near flooded areas following heavy monsoon rainfalls on the outskirts of Sylhet on Wednesday — AFP

The flood situation has improved slightly in northeastern and northern parts of Bangladesh while other low-lying areas of the country are likely to be inundated, officials said, reports BSS.

"Despite the flood situation is likely to improve in the Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj and Netrokona districts and other northern districts, it will take time for receding flood water ... meaning flood in northeastern, northern parts of Bangladesh might linger," Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) spokesman Md Arifuzzaman Bhuyan told BSS.

"Water now continued to flow above the danger levels in two of the country's four major river basins … the situation is the worst since the 2004 flooding," he added.

Bhuiyan, an FFWC executive engineer, said: "Heavy downpours worsened the flood situation which gradually deteriorated in northern and north-eastern parts of Bangladesh."

He said the trend was worsening as the forecasts suggested the heavy rainfall to continue for the next couple of days both in the upstream Meghalaya, Assam and western Himalayan regions of India alongside Bangladesh.

Monsoon rains and gushing waters from upstream India overnight worsened Bangladesh flood situation with experts calling it the worst since 2004 while millions of people are still marooned as the pace of flood water receding is very slow, the FFWC official said.

Northeastern and northern parts of Bangladesh may witness prolonged flooding as record breaking rainfalls were recorded inside Bangladesh and upstream states of India during the ongoing flood.

"We have seen both Bangladesh and the upstream states of Meghalaya and Assam and western Himalayan regions of India recorded heavy rainfall, the highest over 100 years," Professor Md Mansur Rahman of Institute of Water and Flood Management of BUET said on Wednesday.

Major rivers and their tributaries of Bangladesh have no capacity to contain such a huge volume of rains, which ultimately is causing massive flooding in northeastern and northern regions of the country, he added.

Mansur said there is a huge gap between Bangladesh and upstream regions of India in terms of elevation from sea level. "So, an onrush of water enters Bangladesh at a faster pace, which causes flooding," he added.

The ongoing flood in Meghna basin may prolong as "only exit point of flood water is Bhairab at the Megna river will take much time to pass such huge volume of flood water into the Bay of Bangal... meaning flood in northeastern region is likely to be prolonged, if the heavy downpour continue.

The water levels at 61 river stations monitored by Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) have marked rise while 47 stations recorded fall.

Among the 109 monitored stations, one river station has been registered steady while water levels at 21 stations are flowing above the danger levels, a bulletin issued by the FFWC said.

According to the numerical weather forecast of meteorological agencies, heavy to very heavy rainfall inside Bangladesh and different upstream Indian regions is less unlikely, the FFWC bulletin added.

The Brahmaputa-Jamuna and all the major rivers of the north-eastern region of the country (except the Teesta) may fall, while the Ganges-Padma river may rise in the next 24 hours, it said.

The FFWC bulletin said flood situation in the Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj and Netrokona districts may improve, while in the Kishoreganj and B. Baria districts may slightly deteriorate in next 24 hours while in the next 24 hours, the flood situation in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogra and Jamalpur may remain steady while in the Sirajganj and Tangail may deteriorate slightly.

There is a chance of short duration flooding in the low-lying areas of Shariatpur and Madaripur districts in the next 24 hours, the centre added.

Water levels of the Brahmaputra started falling while Jamuna continues rising with a possibility of improvement of flood situation soon in the Brahmaputra basin.

In Moulvibazar, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin today said the government is doing everything necessary for the flood-affected people.

"This government is and will remain beside the helpless people during any disaster including floods," he said this while inspecting various flood-hit places in Juri upazila of Moulvibazar.

In Jamalpur, flood situation in the district further deteriorated affecting about 70,000 people.

Department of Agriculture Extension sources said with the rising of flood water crops on 5,145 hectares of land including T-Aman seed bed, Aush, jute, vegetable, chilly, maize and sesame were submerged in all the seven upazilas of the district.

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