Flood situation improves in B’putra, Meghna basins, worsens in Ganges

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DHAKA, July 18, 2020 (BSS) – The flood situation continued to improve in the country’s Brahmaputra and Meghna basins, while it deteriorated further in the Ganges basin, increasing the plight of the people living there (Ganges basin).

Despite sporadic incidents of riverbank erosion, the flood situation improved slightly in the Brahmaputra basin in the last 24 hours ending at 9 am on Saturday, according to the officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

They said the water levels of the major rivers continued to fall but were still flowing above the danger level at 10 points in five northern districts.

BWDB executive engineer of Kurigram and Lalmonirhat divisions Ariful Islam said riverbank embankments are still vulnerable at 20 points in these districts although the flood situation continued to improve there.

“The sporadic incidents of riverbank erosion have been reported in a number of places along the major rivers in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha districts,” BWDB chief engineer for Rangpur Zone Jyoti Prosad Ghosh told BSS.

The Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Dharla rivers were still flowing above the danger level at different points, but Teesta was flowing below the danger mark at 9 am on Saturday, the officials said.

Local administrations have intensified relief activities in flood-hit northern districts of Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura and Sirajganj.

“We are distributing 170 tonnes rice, Taka 9 lakh in cash, 4,000 packets of dry foods and Taka four lakh for baby food and animal feed among flood-hit people in Kurigram district,” acting Kurigram district relief and rehabilitation officer Abdul Hye Sarker said.

In Jamalpur, the flood situation further deteriorated affecting more people despite receding of water level in Jamuna River.

Over nine lakh people in the district have been affected due to flooding amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local administration said.

BSS Rajshahi correspondent said around 50,000 people were marooned in Atrai upazila in Naogaon and Bagmara upazila in Rajshahi under the Ganges Basin as the flood control embankments were collapsed at several points of Atrai River due to the onrush water from the upstream.

Homesteads and croplands were inundated in Bagmara upazila. Movement of heavy vehicles on Atrai-Naogaon, Atrai-Bandhaikhara, Atrai-Kaliganj and Atrai-Singra roads were suspended due to flooding.

The Atrai River is flowing 7 cm below the danger level at Atrai point this morning, said Muhammad Arifuzzaman, executive engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

The flood situation has started to improve in Meghna basin due to dwindling the onrush water coming from the upstream.

The overall flood scenario has improved in Sunamganj district, while the floodwater started receding from homesteads and the district town, BSS Sunamganj correspondent reports.

But the plight of locals still continues due to flooding. Despite receding floodwater till Friday afternoon, the road communication of the district town was suspended with Tahirpur, Bishwambharpur, Doarabazar, Chhatak and Jamalganj upazilas.

In addition, the recurrent flood damaged hundreds of hectares of Aus paddy and seed bed of Ropa Aman in the district.

BSS Sylhet correspondent said the flood situation improved in Sylhet region as water levels of its major rivers are falling fast.

However, the Surma and Kushiyara rivers were still flowing above the danger level at several points.

Water was flowing 24 cm above the danger level at Kanaighat point of Surma River at 3 pm on Saturday, while the river was flowing 49 cm bellow the danger mark at Sylhet point, according to the FFWC data.

Kushiyara was flowing 44 cm above danger level at Amalshed point and 53 cm above at Fenchuganj point on Saturday afternoon.

The water of Kushiyara was also flowing 5 cm above the danger level at Shewla point, while 23 cm bellow the danger mark at Sherpur point.

According to the FFWC forecast, the flood situation will improve in Sylhet, Sunamganj, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Natore, Jamalpur, Bogura, Naogaon, Sirajganj, Tangail and Manikganj districts in the next 24 hours.

The water levels of the Brahmaputra and the Jamuna continued to fall, while the waters of Ganges and Padma rivers were stable and it may start to fall in the next 48 hours.

The water levels in upper Meghna basin will continue to fall in the next 24 hours, the FFWC forecast said, but water may flow above the danger level at Jamalpur point of the old Brahmaputra River in the next 24 hours.

Of the 101 river points monitored in the country, water levels increased at 41 stations, while decreased at 59 stations and remained stable at one point.