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Six lakh marooned as 3rd flurry of floods hit Sylhet, Sunamganj

Six lakh people in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts have been marooned as the country’s northeast has been hit by flooding for a third time this season because of incessant rains and water rushing down from upstream.

According to local administration, more than 1,000 villages in 10 upazilas of the two districts have been flooded. Roads and houses in low-lying areas have been submerged and water has entered various government offices including educational institutions.

Most areas of Sadar, Companiganj, Gowainghat, Jaintapur and Kanaighat upazilas of Sylhet are now under water. Most areas of Sadar, Bishwambharpur, Tahirpur, Doara Bazar and Chhatak upazilas of Sunamganj also are inundated.

The River Surma is flowing over the danger mark at Sunamganj, Sylhet, and Kanaighat points, and the Kushiyara and Sari rivers are flowing above the danger line, worsening the flooding in the district.

It has been raining in the two districts since Wednesday morning, likely to worsen the flooding, according to the MET office.

The rivers overflowed and waters entered Kalighat, Machimpur and Chharar par areas of Sylhet city. Road communication of different unions with Gowainghat Sadar has also snapped. Waterlogged people, especially those in the border areas, are suffering a lot.

Earlier in April, untimely floods hit the low-lying areas of Sylhet and Sunamganj, washing away crops in the haor region. Then in mid-May, Sylhet experienced the worst floods in 18 years, causing a loss of hundreds of crores of taka with damage to roads, agriculture, fisheries, and infrastructure.

Gowainghat Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Tahmilur Rahman said the upazila administration set up 42 shelter centres in the flood-hit areas of the upazila. It took measures to bring people affected by the flooding to the shelter centres.

The low-lying areas of Lakshmi Prasad East and West, and the Chatul and Sadar unions of Kanaighat Upazila have flooded. Hundreds of people in the low-lying villages of Zakiganj, a bordering upazila, are marooned.

According to local administration, 138 villages in Companiganj upazila are inundated with most shops and houses, the Upazila Parishad, police station, and several government and non-government offices and educational institutions, flooded. Road communication of six unions with Sadar upazila is no more.

Companiganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Lusikanta Hajong said most areas of the upazila have been inundated and water has entered households, roads and offices. Some 36 shelter centres have been opened in the upazila.

Sylhet District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Md Nurul Islam said 443 shelter centres have been set up in the district for waterlogged people and 298 tons of rice was allotted on Wednesday for people hit by the floods.

Sunamganj Water Development Board Executive Engineer Md Zahurul Islam said, according to the met office, rains may continue for two more days in the region which could lead to the floods getting worse.

Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain said, alongside sending emergency relief aid to flood-hit areas, all UNOs were instructed to remain vigilant and to set up a control room.