Six die as flooding worsens

1,376 govt schools closed in 8 districts so far

Staff Correspondent | Published: 20:15, Jul 16,2019 | Updated: 23:50, Jul 16,2019


Flood affected people look for shelters at Fulchhari in Gaibandha on Tuesday. — Focus Bangla photo

The flood situation in the country’s Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj and Tangail districts deteriorated on Tuesday as floodwaters submerged new areas in these districts.

At least five people, including minors, were killed in a boat capsize in Kurigram on Tuesday and another victim drowned in floodwater, reported New Age correspondent from Kurigram.

The boat capsized in the floodwater at new Anantapur area under Hatia union of Ulipur upazila in Kurigram and five persons including four children died.

Two other victims of the accident received treatment in the hospital.

Chairman of Hatia union council Abul Hossain said that some women with their children numbering around 14/15 went sightseeing in a flood-affected area on a boat.

According to witnesses, the boat capsized due to overcrowding.

Locals rushed to the spot with boats to rescue the drowning boat passengers and they also informed the Ulipur Fire Service and civil defense office about the incident. They recovered several victims including children and sent them to Ulipur upazila Health Complex and Kuigram general Hospital in critical condition.

Among the deceased was Runa Begum, 35, a mother who died trying to save her child while four children who drowned included Hasibul, 7, son of Aynal Haque of village Beparipara of Anantapur upazila, Rupa Moni, 8, daughter of  Mohosin Ali Morsalin, Sumon, 10, son of Monsur Ali and Ruku Moni, 7, daughter of Rashed of the same village.

In a separate incident, a young man drowned in floodwater due to heavy current at Nageswari upazila in Kurigram on Monday. The body was recovered on Tuesday morning.

He was identified as Mamun, 35, son of Abu Musa, local freedom fighter commander of village Madaikhal under Kaliganj union of the  upazila. He was the father of three children.

Local sources said Mamun was carried away by strong current when he was crossing the road near the village Nageswari where the road was in waist-high water.

The incident took place while he was returning home at 5:00pm.

Locals along with fire fighters from Nageswari and Kurigram searched for his body and it was not until at 9:00am on Tuesday that they finally found the body, chairman of Kaliganj union council Motiar Rahman confirmed.

Education activities in 372 primary schools and in 34 secondary schools remained suspended as floodwaters submerged these school premises.

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre on Tuesday announced that the flood situations in the northern districts worsened further as all the major rivers showed a rising trend.

Academic activities in at least 1,376 government schools in eight districts came to a halt for the days following the floods. Besides many schools were being used as flood shelter centres especially in Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Cox’esbazar and Sylhet division, said officials.

The overall flood situation in the chars and river basin areas of the Brahmaputra at four upazilas of Gaibandha deteriorated further as water level of the river was gradually increasing.

When asked, Sarder Udoy Raihan, sub-divisional engineer of FFWC told New Age that river water was currently overflowing in all major rivers in the Brahmaputra basin, affecting some districts.

He, however, said that there was no forecast of heavy rains in the upstream India, so flood situation was likely to improve after two or three days.

According to summery report of the FFWC, the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma rivers might continue rising in the next 48 hours and the River Atrai at Baghabari and the River Padma at Goalondo point most likely to cross danger level on Wednesday.

Education officials from the flood affected districts said that academic activities in the closed schools would resume within the next week if the water started to recede.

Sylhet district assistant primary education officer Md Abdul Mustakim told New Age that in Sylhet division academic activities were stopped at 802 government primary schools out of a total of 5,041 schools.

As per the office of district education officer in the district, around 84 schools remain closed. 

According to Kurigram district website, till Tuesday, academic activities were remained suspended at 169 schools in the districts and 59 institutions were being used as flood shelter centres. 

In Gaibandha, classes remained suspended at 130 government primary schools for three consecutive days and 43 schools were being used as shelter centres, said the district primary education officer Md Hossain Ali.

In Cox’s Bazar, 90 government primary and more than 30 junior and high schools and madrassahs remained closed, said officials.

At 51 government primary schools in Lalmonirhat, no classes were held for four days as floodwater inundated the school premises.

The teachers were in attendance while the students failed to turn up, said the district primary education officer Md Jahangir Alam.

According to Bangladesh Meteorological Department and Indian Meteorological Department, there is a chance of fairly widespread, medium to heavy rainfall in the northern, north-eastern parts of Bangladesh along with adjoining Assam and Meghalaya states of India in the next 24 hours since Tuesday morning.

New Age correspondent in Bogra reported that floods worsened as the Jamuna water level at Mathurapa Gaj Station in Sariakandi reached 105 cms above danger mark.

Flood affected people with cattle were in severe crisis, said the local officials.

Standing crops, including jute, aus rice, vegetables and seedbeds were damaged by the floods, said agriculture officials

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha in Gaibandha reported that a number of villages including Farazipara, Eastkomornoi, Miahpara, West Komornoi, Chaygharia, Analertari Godarhat Bholarbazar of Kholahati union under Sadar upazila and Purbapara, Kutipara, Munshipara, Baniarzan, Bridgeroad Kalibaripara, Aquaestatepara, and Sarkerpara have been submerged as flood control embankment collapsed in Kutharpara and Godarhat area on Monday morning.

Bangladesh Water Development Board officials said the water level of the Brahmaputra rose by 19 cms during the period and it was flowing 128 cms above danger level at Phulchharighat point of the district.

The River Ghaghat which is overflowing at different points of the district, inundating fresh areas while the river is flowing 87 cms above its danger mark at New Bridge Road point, they added.

With the rise of water level of the Brahmaputra and the Teesta, the chars and the river basin areas including mainland of 32 unions of Sundarganj, Sadar Fulchhari and Saghata upazila went underwater.

A total of two lakhs and 87,000 people of the upazilas have been marooned, said Nezarat deputy collector M Shaheedul Islam, also acting district relief and rehabilitation officer.

As many as 20,724 flood affected people of the upazilas took shelter at 114 flood shelter centres with their assets, he also said.

Executive engineer of BWDB Mokhlasur Rahman said cracks were found at different spots of the embankment and maintenance works were undertaken at the vulnerable points of the embankment through filling earth and sand bags on an urgent basis.

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