Floods inundated many areas in at least 14 districts afresh after a break of a few weeks as all major rivers were overflowing in north-eastern regions on Saturday because of onrush of waters from India along with continuous rainfall caused by active monsoon.
Thousands of people were marooned, education and communications systems were disrupted and agricultural lands with standing crops were submerged as flood situation worsened in several districts, including, Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat as Indian authorities opened all the 54 gates of Teesta Barrage at Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri of India Saturday morning.
Water at 17 river points covering 14 districts was flowing above the danger marks on Saturday, said Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre officials.
As the three river basins would continue swelling for few more days, floods would inundate more districts in the country’s mid and southern regions, said flood forecast issued on Saturday.
Rail communications between Panchagarh and Thakugaon districts and the rest of the country were suspended on Saturday after the rail tracks went under water.
Low lying river areas in Panchgarh, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogra, Sirajganj, Sherpur, Netrakona, Habiganj, Sunamganj, Sylhet and Moulvibazar were inundated by the onrush of water from India and heavy rainfall.
Flood forecasting centre’s summery report said that the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, Ganges-Padma and Surma-Kushiyara rivers were rising.
The Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma rivers might keep rising in the next 72 hours from Saturday morning while the Surma-Kushiyara was supposed to continue rising till this morning.
Bangladesh Railway officials said the rail communications between Panchagarh and Thakugaon districts and the rest of the country were suspended due to flood while some other rail sections in other districts were also under threat.
A railway ministry release issued on Saturday said that the Panchagarh-Thakurgaon section went under 1-5 feet water at places.
The movement of trains in the section was suspended at 8:00am on Saturday while the release said that train movement would resume after repair of the rail tracks when the flood water would recede.
A senior railway official said that flood water was rising in Kaunia (Rangpur)-Lalmonirhat and Kurigram-Ramna Bazar (Kurigram) sections.
If water level continued to rise, rail communications between Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts and rest of the country might be suspended, the official added.
Bangladesh Railway general manager (west) Khairul Alam said that rainfall continued in the northern region, especially in Panchagarh and Kurigram, and they were trying to repair the railway tracks with sand and stone chips.
New Age staff correspondent in Sylhet reported that Sunamganj district administration postponed primary school half-yearly examinations scheduled for Saturday and today in seven upazilas––Sadar, Dakkhin Sunamganj, Tahirpur, Derai, Bishwambharpur, Doarabazar and Dharmapasha––as most parts of the district were flooded by onrush of water from India.
District education officer Bayezid Khan said that the next decision in this regard would be taken considering the flood situation.
According to the flood forecasting centre of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, the Surma River was flowing 77cm above the danger mark in Sunamganj at 3:00pm on Saturday.
Sunamganj deputy commissioner Sabirul Islam said that the upazila administrations were already asked to prepare for the situation.
‘No flood shelter is needed so far in the district,’ the deputy commissioner said.
New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat reported that flood situation in the district deteriorated as the Teesta and Dharla rivers were overflowing because of onrush of water from India and heavy rainfall in the past three days, leaving several thousand families marooned.
Water Development Board officials said, Teesta was flowing 30cm above the danger mark while the Dharla was flowing 45cm over the red level at 5:00pm on Saturday.
Indian authorities opened all the 54 gates of Teesta Barrage over the Teesta at Gajoldoba Saturday morning, said Water Development Board sub-assistant engineer Abdullah Al Mamun in Lalmonirhat.
At least 45 villages in four upazilas were submerged by the flood waters and flood control dyke in Etapota and Shiberkuti areas under Sadar upazila was under threat of erosion.
Patgram upazila nirbahi officer Nur Kutubul Alam said that 10,000 people of the upazila were affected by the fresh flood.
Lalmonirhat district primary education officer Nabez Uddin Sarker said that 127 government primary schools were declared closed in the four upazilas.
In Brahmanbaria, at least 65 villages at Akhaura and Kasba upazilas were inundated by onrush of water from hilly areas of Tripura of India, leaving thousands of people marooned, 200 ponds washed away and standing crops damaged.
New Age correspondent in Kurigram reported that 16 rivers including the Dharla, Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dudkumer, Phulkumer, Kaljani, Sonavory and Zinzeram, in Kurigram district were rising because of onrush of water from India and rain in the past three days.
About 50 villages,150 low lands and islands as well as river side areas were inundated and about 30,000 people were marooned in the second spell of flood.
Kurigram Water Development Board executive engineer Shafikul Islam said that the Dharla was flowing 41cm above danger mark at Dharla bridge point on Saturday and other rivers were flowing near the danger mark but kept rising.
In April-May, heavy early floods caused by onrush of water from India and heavy rains destroyed standing boro and other crops across the country’s 56 of the 64 districts, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension.
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