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Sylhet, Sunamganj reel under floods, 2 million affected

Heavy rainfall triggered by active monsoon submerged much of two northeastern districts Sylhet and Sunamganj creating havoc for the people in rural areas as the two districts witnessed third spell of flood within one month.

As monsoon has arrived early impacted by cyclone Rimel, the fresh round of flood inundated vast areas of several districts of the country, officials and residents told BSS on Wednesday.

The third wave of devastating flood battered wide swaths of two north-eastern districts Sylhet, Sunamganj and other parts of Bangladesh as third round of flood hit northeastern parts in a shorter time meaning this unusual phenomenon will linger suffering life and livelihood, they added.

FFWC Executive Engineer Sardar Uday Raihan said, “Northern regions of Bangladesh and some states of India have witnessed torrential rainfall as monsoon is set early impacted by the cyclone Rimel resulting in flood for third time in Sylhet and Sunamganj”.

He forecasted flood situation will be prolonged as almost entire country experienced heavy rainfall triggered by active monsoon. Due to massive amounts of rainfall, major rivers are overflowing submerging vast tract of land along the rivers, Raihan added.

According to the local administration, thousands of people have been marooned in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts as flood water submerged a large portions of the two districts.

Rezaun Rahman, Director General of Department of Disaster Management, told BSS that, “We are overseeing the flood situation in Sylhet and Sunamganj round-the-clock . . . initially, we are working with local administration and other relevant agencies to provide emergency assistances for minimizing sufferings of the flood-hit people.”

As part of emergency assistances, the department of disaster-management is distributing cash, dry food and pure drinking water among the flood-affected people in the north-eastern districts, he added.

Aftermath of the prolonged flooding, relevant ministries including agriculture and the road transport and bridges ministry will submit a complete report on damages caused by the flood, the DG added.

Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Sheikh Reshel Hasan said the fresh spell of flood triggered by heavy rainfall submerged low-lying areas in the district.

“Flood affected people are battling with three cycles of flood as life and livelihoods are damaged severely in the northeastern district Sylhet,” he added.

The first spell of flood affected thousands of people in 13 upazilas and municipalities of Sylhet district in late May and the flash flood prolonged in the first week of the current month, leaving a large number of people marooned.

The Sunamganj district administration sources said flood water submerged 11 upazilas and Sunamganj municipality.

Mayor of Sylhet City Corporation Anwaruzzaman Choudhury said, “Volunteer teams of city corporation are working to extend assistances for flood-hit people. We have arranged adequate amount of food at shelter centres.”

A devastating flood, triggered by heavy rainfall and onrush water from hilly regions, have affected 20 lakh people in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, according to a statement of UNICEF issued recently.

The statement, signed by Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh, read among 20 lakh flood affected people in two northeastern regions – Sylhet and Sunamganj – 7.72 lakh are children.

Water levels at 83 river stations monitored by Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) have marked rise while 27 stations recorded fall.

Among the 110 monitored river stations, water levels at 16 stations are flowing above the danger level, a bulletin issued by the FFWC said here today.

The Brahmaputra river at Noonkhawa, Hatia and Chilmari, the Jamuna at Saghata, the Surma river at Kanaighat, at Sylhet, the Kushiyara river at Amalshid, at Sheola, at Sherpur-Sylhet, at Markuli, the Manu river at Manu Rly Bridge, at Moulvibazar, the Khowai river at Ballah, Habiganj, the Someshwari at Kalmakanda are flowing 14cm, 20cm, 09cm, 05 cm, 87cm, 02cm, 04cm, 135cm, 43cm, 20cm, 40cm, 28cm, 48cm, 90cm, 35cm and 53cm cm above the danger level respectively.

In the next 24 hours, the flood situation in the low-lying areas in Kurigram district along Brahmaputra river may deteriorate somewhat. In the next 24 hours, the overall flood situation in various low-lying areas of North-eastern region may remain in steady state.

Significant rainfall was recorded at some stations in different districts during the last 24 hours ending at 9:00am on Wednesday.

A total of 127 mm rainfalls were recorded in Rajshahi and 98mm in Dinajour while 69mm rainfalls were posted at Durgapur (Netrokona), 61mm at Pabna, 55mm at Kaunia (Rangpur), 52mm at Jafflong (Sylhet), 116mm at Noakhali, 81mm at Cox’s Bazar, 67mm at Jariajanjail (Netrokona), 60mm at Badarganj (Rangpur), 54mm at Mohadebpur, 51mm at Gaibandha, 101mm at Teknaf (Cox’s Bazar), 76mm at Itakhola (Habiganj), 62mm at Lama (Bandarban), 56mm at Khulna, 52mm at Rohanpur (Chapai Nawabganj) and 46mm at Narayanghat (Chattogram).

During the last 24 hours, significant rainfalls (mm) were recorded in some states like West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, of India, the bulletin added.