The onrush of water from upstream in India swelled cross-border rivers Teesta and Dharla overnight, worsening flood situation in Bangladesh’s north on Monday, as India opened 54 gates at Gazaldoba barrage across the Teesta.
Dozens of villages went under water in three districts—Lalmonirhat, Rangpur and Kurigram—after India opened 54 gates at Gazaldoba barrage as water level rose there following two days of heavy rains in the West Bengal, said Bangladesh Water Development Board officials.
Water board’s flood forecasting and warning centre duty officer Sarder Udoy Raihan said that the water levels in the rivers Teesta and Dharla rose rapidly by 47cm and 58cm in 18 hours until 3:00pm on Monday.
The rivers that were flowing below danger level till Sunday night were flowing from 25-35cm above the danger level on Monday.
Water resources secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan told New Age that it was a longstanding phenomenon that India held back water in dry season and open its barrages across major cross-border river including the Ganges and the Teesta during monsoon flooding Bangladesh and adversely affecting lives and livelihoods.
‘We need a solution to the Teesta issue and a technical committee has been working to the end. We hope the Teesta water sharing would be resolved at the political level of the two countries soon,’ he added.
New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat reported that at least 30 villages across five upazilas in the district were flooded by the sudden rush of water, leaving 30,000 people marooned.
The authorities were forced to open 44 gates of the Teesta barrage in Lamonirhat in the wake of the sudden onrush of water raising the water level.
The huge pressure of the water burst banks downstream, causing massive erosion at places in several districts, inundating fresh lands.
The riverbank protection dam at Shiberkuti of Lalmonirhat sadar upazila was falling apart, threatening to flood about 3 lakh people.
New Age correspondent in Rangpur reported that riverbank protection embankments in three upazilas were breached by the swelling rivers, inundating 50 villages in the district.
At least 15,000 people were marooned by the sudden deterioration in the flood situation in the district.
New Age correspondent in Kurigram reported that about 15,000 people were marooned in three upazilas in the district on Monday, taking to 70,000 the number of affected by the flood.
The flood situation in Jamalpur worsened with the River Jamuna flowing 37cm over the danger level. About 50,000 people were stranded in the district, reported New Age correspondent in Jamalpur.
At Kazipur in Sirajganj, loudspeakers at local mosques were used to alert people to erosion that broke out in a river protection embankment along Machhuwakandi late Sunday night.
The erosion continued throughout the night and displaced over 100 families destroying 100 metres of the embankment.
New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported that the flood situation in the district deteriorated again with the rivers Surma and Kushiyara rising after two days of staying on the falling trend.
The overall situation of the flood deteriorated with the flood forecasting centre recording a rise in water level in 55 of its 90 flood monitoring stations in 24 hours until 9:00am on Monday.
At least eight rivers were flowing over the danger level at eight points.
The flood forecasting centre predicted that the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Ganges, Padma, Surma and Kushiyara were likely to continue to rise in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The flood situation was likely to worsen as severe flood was reported in upstream in India and the Indian met office continued to forecast heavy to extremely heavy rains in areas from where water flows to the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh.
The BSS reported that the flood situation also deteriorated in Gaibandha. The UNB reported deterioration of flood in Pabna and Sirajganj.
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