At least 80,000 people marooned in northern part of Bangladesh

Rezaul Karim Manik | Published: 14:59, Jul 11,2020


The water level of the River Teesta and River Dharala were flowing above the danger level on Saturday due to heavy downpour and onrush of water from the hilly areas of the upstream.

Executive engineer Robiul Islam of Bangladesh Water Development Board at Dalia said that the Teesta was flowing at least 22 centimetres above the danger level at Dalia point while Dharala was flowing 14 centimetres above the danger mark at Kulaghat point on Saturday morning, flooding vast areas of 12 upazilas including Gangachara, Kawnia, Pirgacha, Sundarganj, Fulchari, Rajarhat, Olipur, Hatibandha, Kaliganj, Aditmari and Lalmonirhat sadar.

Several thousands of people in several unions of Hatibandha upazila, Kakina, Votemari union parishads of Kaliganj upazila, Mohishkhocha of Aditmari upazila, Khuniagas, Mogholhat, Kulaghat, Rajpur areas of sadar upazila, Nohali, Mohipur, Gojogantha of Gangachara upazila, Haragach, Balapara, Madhupur of Kawnia upazila, and Chawla, Pawtana of Pirgacha upazila, Gorildhanga, Biddanando of Rajarhat upazila are now marooned.

If the flow of onrush of water from the hilly areas continued, some 77 villages of Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur would be flooded, the local administration apprehended.

Meanwhile, officials at local BWDB office warned the inhabitants of the low-lying areas of the Teesta and Dharala to remain alert about the latest flood situation.

Chakina Bewa and Amir Ali of the flood-hit Kawnia said that they were yet to get any help from the authorities concerned though they had been marooned for three days.

Abul Kalam, chairman of Chaola UP in Rangpur’s Pirgachha upazila, and Nurul Amin, chairman of Sinduna UP in Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat, said that they had not received enough government help so far.

Rangpur divisional commissioner KM Tarikul Islam said that they were monitoring the situation and had asked the higher authorities for relief.

Dalia Water Development Board executive engineer Robiul Islam told New Age that the river was flowing 22cm above the red mark at Dalia point at about 10:30pm.

The WDB sources said that the onrush of hilly waters caused concern as India opened 54 gates of Gajaldoba barrage and issued alert in the adjacent areas.

Teesta barrage authorities also opened 44 gates to tackle the pressure of gushing waters from the upstream.

The situation in the district worsened further on Saturday as fresh 77 villages of 12 upazilas in Rangpur went under water, leaving 80,000 people marooned.

Meanwhile, embankment at Goddimari point in Hatibandha was eroded due to the pressure of gushing water which caused fear of further erosion.

Atair Rahman, chairman of Goddimari union, said, ‘Now, the Teesta and the River Saniazan are separated by only one meter area. If the erosion by both of the rivers starts together, at least two lakh people of the district will be marooned.’

Joity Prashad Gosh, chief engineer of Water Development Board in northern zone, said, ‘We have started dumping sand bags in the affected areas to prevent further erosion.’

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