By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, July 14 (IANS) The Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has issued a red alert at the Teesta Barrage Point area under Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat district as the river was flowing more than 53 cm above the danger level.
According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) of the BWDB, heavy rains might continue in northern Bangladesh and the adjoining northeastern Indian states of Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar and West Bengal in the next 72 hours.
Already 10 districts of the Bangladesh have been flooded. In the next 24 to 72 hours, at least three more districts may be affected.
There will be no irregularities in the distribution, the real victims will be listed and relief will be given, Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation of Relief and Rehabilitation, Md. Enamur Rahman MP told IANS on Monday evening.
If the rains continue, the lower reaches of Dhaka and Narayanganj could be inundated by the end of next week, according to experts.
Meanwhile, 7 millions of people have been stranded in the flood-hit districts. Rural roads and crops have been submerged.
Eight-month–old Alifa was sleeping with her mother on Monday morning and suddenly the baby fell in floodwater while the mother was asleep. Later, waking from her sleep, the mother found the baby floating in the floodwater that entered their house from Teesta river, confirmed Atiar Rahman, chairman of Gaddimari Union Parishad in the upazila.
Many people do not want to go to shelters out of fear of being affected by COVID-19, though their homes have been flooded.
Many people are dependent on selling hens, ducks and cows. The flood victims have taken shelter with their cows and ducks to keep them safe from the floods. There is no other way for the flood victims.
One of them, Karim Mia thought that he would earn some money by selling four cows during Eid-ul-Adha. But now he has lost hope because of the floods.
Secondery Education officer of Sunamganj, Jahangeer Alam told IANS: “A family with 700 ducks has taken shelter at the Alauddin memorial School. They are getting relief. But what about the pets? The administration is worried about how to feed the ducks.”
The Teesta crossed the danger mark at Dalia point in Nilphamari district on Monday evening as major rivers started rising again following onrush of water from the upper catchment in the Brahmaputra basin during the last 24 hours.
Chief Engineer for Rangpur Zone of BWDB Jyoti Prosad Ghosh said water levels of the Dharla, Teesta, Brahmaputra and Jamuna rivers might continue to rise further during the next 72 hours to cause a flood situation again in the basin.
“We’re closely monitoring the situation round the clock and ready to take immediate steps to repair any damages or breached flood control structures on an emergency basis anywhere in all eight districts of Rangpur division,” he added.
“All flood control embankments and structures are remaining safe in the Bangladesh Water Development Boards’s Rangpur zone where riverbank protection works are continuing at most of the 52 vulnerable points in Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Gaibandha districts.”
“With sharp rise in water level, the Teesta was flowing 28 cm above the danger mark at Dalia point in Nilphamari district at 6 p.m. on July 4,” Executive Engineer of Teesta Barrage division of the BWDB Md. Rabiul Islam told IANS.
Some low-lying areas of four upazilas in Nilphamari and other areas of adjoining Lalmonirhat districts again went under floodwaters as the Teesta river again crossed its danger mark Monday evening.
The BWDB official said water levels of all major rivers marked rises following onrush of huge water amid heavy monsoon rains from the upper catchment in India in the basin during the last 24 hours till at 9 a.m.
The rising the trend in water levels of major rivers might continue during the next 72 hours and the Dharla may also cross the danger mark in the next 24 hours.
During the past 24 hours till 9 a.m., 551mm rainfall was recorded at Cherrapunji, 120 mm at Shillong, 297 mm at Pasighat, 99 mm at Dhubri, 154 mm at Goalpara and 50 mm at Jalpaiguri points of the northwestern Indian states in the upstream.
Besides, 103 mm rainfall was recorded at Chilmari in Kurigram, 58 mm at Kawnia in Rangpur and 53 mm at Gaibandha monitoring points of Bangladesh during the same period.
Due to huge onrush of water from the upstream, water levels of the Dharla rose by 18 cm at Kurigram, Brahmaputra rose by 15 cm at Noonkhawa and 10 cm at Chilmari points during the last 24 hours.
Besides, water levels of the river Jamuna rose by 11 cm at Fulchhari, 6 cm at Bahadurabad, 4 cm at Sariakandi, 2 cm at Kazipur and 4 cm at Sirajganj points in Sirajganj during the period.
(Sumi Khan can be contacted at [email protected])