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Another round of heavy rain inundates Sylhet city

Photo : Heavy rainfall on Sunday night has left almost all Sylhet city wards submerged. The photo was taken on Monday, 3 May.

Sylhet city has been inundated after heavy downpours that began last night (2 June), leaving residents sleepless and struggling to keep the water out of their homes.

The continuous rainfall, which persisted until this morning (3 June), has caused the water to enter hundreds of infrastructures in the city, including in critical buildings like Osmani Medical College Hospital.

“Water has entered the hospital’s generator room, though regular services continue. However, services might be disrupted if the water level keeps rising,” said Dr Soumitra Chakrabort, deputy director of Osmani Medical College Hospital.

Most schools and colleges in Sylhet city have cancelled classes and exams today due to the flash flood. Additionally, power supply has been suspended in most city areas since last night.

Worsening the city’s flooding woes, several main roads are now underwater.

Five upazilas in Sylhet were previously submerged after a night of heavy rain last Wednesday (29 May).

While the flood situation briefly improved due to a two-day respite from rain, the heavy downpour on Sunday night worsened conditions, extending the flash flood into the city.

According to Sylhet Met Office Assistant Meteorologist Shah Md Sajib, 226.6 millimetres of rainfall were recorded in Sylhet in 24 hours, from 6am yesterday to 6am today.

An additional 28 millimetres of rain were recorded by 9am this morning.

Cyclone Remal’s aftermath had already left some suburban areas of Sylhet waterlogged, and the Surma River was flowing at full capacity.

The heavy rainfall last night caused the river’s water level to rise further and flooded the ground floor of almost all the houses in the affected areas.

Shahajan Ahmad, a resident of D block of the suburb, described the dire situation, saying, “There is knee-deep water inside the house and waist-deep water on the road. I can neither stay in the house nor go out. The recurring suffering has started to feel unbearable.”

Journalist Sangram Singh, who lives on the fourth floor of a building in the area, said, “This morning, it felt like I am on an island. There is water all around. It feels like I’m floating.”

Several city neighbourhoods, including Terarran, Jatarpur, Mendibagh, Jamtala, Taltala, Sheikhghat, Kalapara, Majumdar Para, Laldighir Par, Sobhani Ghat, Mirzajangal, Kadmatoli, and Kalighat, were seen submerged.

Lawyer Debbrat Chowdhury Liton, a resident of the Mirzajangal area of ​​the city, shared his sleepless night experience with our Correspondent.

“We spent another sleepless night in fear and anxiety. Water entered the house around 1am after midnight. Everyone worked together to drain the water, but by 4am, water entered again. The flood water level has risen since morning, leaving all the furniture in a bad state,” he said.

Rajatkanti Gupta, a resident of the Jamtala area of ​​the city and chairperson of Sylhet Sammilito Natya Parishad, criticised the lack of effective flood prevention measures following the inundation of houses in the 2022 flood, stating that such sufferings could have been avoided.

Sylhet City Corporation Public Relations Officer Sajlu Laskar reported that some areas in nine wards were already waterlogged from last week’s rain.

Following Sunday night’s downpour, almost all city wards are now submerged.

He explained that the water level of the Surma River was already above the danger level, which prevented the rainwater from draining into the river.

Meanwhile, Sylhet City Corporation called an emergency meeting today to decide on the next steps to address the flood situation.