Pre-monsoon heavy rains rapidly swell major rivers

Emran Hossain | Published: 22:48, May 30,2020


Pre-monsoon heavy rains inside Bangladesh and in upstream across the border caused all major rivers in the country to rapidly swell over the last seven days raising water levels at many places close to the danger level.

Weather and flood forecasters and experts said that rivers getting filled up to the brim even before the monsoon sets in gives a reason to worry about potential early monsoon flood.

Bangladesh is still reeling from the fallout of super cyclone Amphan with vast coastal areas still under sea water gushing through gaping holes left behind by the cyclone in coastal embankment.

‘Jamuna River swelled up to 4 meters at places over the last week,’ flood forecasting and warning centre executive engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told New Age.

He said that such rapid swelling of rivers at this time of the year was not usual though he saw no chances of the rivers overflowing in the next seven days.

The FFWC in an afternoon bulletin said that all major rivers would continue to swell until 9:00am Sunday but predicted that the rivers would stabilise soon.

The FFWC recorded heavy to very heavy rainfalls at many places across Bangladesh in 24 hours until 9:00am Saturday with the country’s highest rainfall recorded at 102 mm at Habiganj.

Heavy rains were also recorded at Srimangal, Chandpur, Narsingdi and Sirajganj during the same time.

The Kushiyara River was flowing 31 cm below the danger level at Amalshid in Sylhet, according to the FFWC.

The Khowai River reached near the danger level near Habiganj town on Friday, said the FFWC.

At least 50 of the 93 river gauging stations across Bangladesh recorded rise in water level across Bangladesh in 24 hours until Saturday morning.

The list of swelling rivers also include Brahmaputra, Atrai, Dhaleshwari, Dharla, Shitalakkhya, Mahananda, Padma, Gorai, Oashure, Surma, Manu and Meghna.

AKM Saiful Islam, professor of Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET, said that the hills of Assam and Meghalaya and Tripura drained a lot of water from heavy rains occurred there over last week.

‘A steady flow of moisture-rich air from the Bay of Bengal continued throughout the last week bringing a lot of heavy rain raw materials,’ he said.

He said that the air flow up to 47 kilometre per hour almost continuously.

India Meteorological Department predicted fairly widespread to widespread rains in Assam and Meghalaya and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim until June 3.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department said that days might become drier in the first week of June with a reduction of rainfall compared to the last week of May.

‘It seems that the monsoon might set in a bit late this year,’ said meteorologist Abul Kalam Mallik.

Monsoon usually sets in by the first week of June but lately monsoon arrived late by a week of more.

Monsoon floods usually occur in July and August but lately the floods occurred in late June as well.

Monsoon floods stay for weeks as huge amount of water gets drained through Bangladesh throughout the season and rivers in the country are in bad condition to carry the water because of encroachment and waste dumping.

Cyclones rarely form in the Bay of Bengal during monsoon. But floods are often devastating during the season.

Last year Bangladesh saw two prolong spell of floods during monsoon with nearly half the country going under water at its peak.

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