30,000 marooned as Teesta, Dharla overflow

Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Bogura to witness flooding in next 10 days

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:54, Jun 21,2020


At least 35 villages in eight upazilas in Lalmonirhat and Rangpur districts went under water as the Teesta and the Dharla rivers flowed over their danger levels on Saturday, leaving 30,000 people marooned.

In the afternoon, the River Teesta was flowing 20 cm above the danger level at Dalia point while the Dharla was flowing 10 cm above the danger mark at Kulaghat, reported New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat.

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre in a bulletin predicted that the Teesta might continue to flow over the danger mark for the next 24 hours until 9:00am Sunday as the onrush of water from upstream is likely to continue because of heavy rains in Sikkim and Jalpaiguri.

The FFWC also predicted floods in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Bogura in a special flood outlook for the next 10 days.

‘The River Jamuna is likely to overflow at several points at the end of this month and the floods caused by it may continue less than two weeks,’ said Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer, FFWC.

He said that the duration of the flood may vary depending on rains.

Water Development Board executive engineer Robiul Islam, stationed at Dalia, said that India opened all 54 gates of the Gazaldoba barrage for the 2nd time in three days Saturday morning.

During monsoon, the Gazaldoba Barrage is opened and closed depending on India’s need to release excessive water and the information about the sudden release of water is never shared, WDB officials told New Age.

Overnight flooding of homes and crop fields are routine experience of people living on the banks of Teesta, especially those living in the low-lying areas such as chars or shoals.

There are 64 chars in Lalmonirhat district, which went under water three days ago even before the Teesta crossed the danger mark.

The newly affected villages are mainly in Sadar, Hatibandha, Aditmari and Kaliganj upazilas in Lalmonirhat.

There are some villages in Rangpur district where floodwater inundated vast areas as well.

Monwar Hossain, chairman, Singimari union parishad, Hatibandha, said that the Teesta and Saniazan rivers are flowing mere three feet apart and any more swelling of any of the rivers would lead to their merger.

‘It would live about 2 lakh people in the district stranded in floods if the rivers merge,’ said Monowar.

While the WDB could not say with certainty whether the Teesta was to swell significantly, India Meteorological Department predicted at least more than 76 mm rain in most of the places in West Bengal and Sikkim through Wednesday.

The FFWC said that all major rivers in the country would keep swelling throughout the week, including those in the north-eastern region.

Rivers around Dhaka will also keep swelling over the next 10 days but there was no possibility of them overflowing banks, said the FFWC.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department withdrew their heavy rainfall warning after three days on Saturday with the prediction of light to moderate rains across Chattogram and Sylhet divisions for the 24 hours until 9:00am Sunday.

Many areas in the rest six divisions will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall during the same time.

In the 24 hours until 9:00am Saturday, the country’s highest rainfall of 89 mm was recorded in Dhaka.

The BMD said that the North Bay and adjoining area would continue to remain rough and advised fishing boats and trawlers to stay close to the coast and proceed with caution until further notice.

The BMD asked all four maritime ports to hoist signal number three.

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