POST TIME: 18 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Floods static in north, start improving in other parts

Floods static in north, start 
improving in other parts

A man puts his wet clothes on his tin-shed structure to dry and a boy frolics in floodwater at a village in Islampur upazila of Jamalpur district yesterday as flood-hit people scramble for food, safe water and higher ground in the affected areas. Focus Bangla Photo

The overall flood situation in some northern districts, including Gaibandha, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogura, Sirajganj and Tangail, deteriorated or remained static in the past 24 hours ending 6pm yesterday.

The situation in other parts of the country, however, started improving with the fall in water level of major rivers in those regions.

Though there is no possibility for further floods this month, there could be another in mid-August, says the Flood Forecasting Warning Centre (FFWC).

Owing to torrential rain, the connection between Lalmonirhat and Dhaka through the Gaibandha–Bogura route has been suspended. As much as 6km of rail tracks between Badiakhali and Trimohoni has gone under flood water.

According to the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), ferry movements at Paturia-Daulatdia, Shimulia-Kathalbari, Chandpur- Shariatpur, Bhola-Laxmipur and Bheduria-Lahargaht ferry routes are being seriously hampered due to strong currents.

“There is no chance of heavy rainfall in the upstream states of India in the next three to four days. However, the flood-affected areas will take at least a week to return to the normal state,” Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB), told this correspondent yesterday.

He also said all major rivers are rising across the country, except the upper Meghna and those from the south-eastern hilly region.

“The Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma rivers may continue to rise in the next 48 hours. The Padma River may cross the danger level at the Bhagyakul point in the next 24 hours. The flood situation will start improving from Friday,” he added.

When asked about the possibility of further floods in the country, Bhuiyan replied: “There is no possibility for floods in the current month. But there are possibilities of another flood in the middle of August.”

The flood situation in Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj, Tangail, Manikganj and Faridpur districts may deteriorate in the next 24 hours. However, the situation in Netrakona, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Habiganj and Moulvibazar districts is likely to improve during the same period.

“We have monitored flood situation at 93 stations across the country. Of them, water is rising at 49 points and falling in 38 stations. River waters are flowing above their respective danger levels at 23 points,” Bhuiyan, who is also in-charge of the FFWC, told this correspondent.  According to the Met office, there is no chance of heavy rainfall in the upstream states of Bangladesh in the next couple of days.

Children and elderly have been the worst sufferers as many were killed by floodwaters and in landslides caused by heavy monsoon rains across south Asia as the death toll passed 250 Wednesday, with authorities bracing for worse weather in some regions, adds AFP. The annual deluge is crucial to replenishing water supplies in the impoverished region, but the downpour from June to September often turns deadly.

Across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, millions of residents have been affected and hundreds of thousands displaced, with homes and boats washed away. While the situation slightly improves in Bangladesh, people in several flood-affected states in India keeps suffering, as the death toll rose to at least 100 and in remote areas entire communities were cut off by rising floodwaters which damaged or submerged roads.

“It’s been 15 days (since) this area has been flooded,” a local resident in Assam, where the death toll reached 22, told AFP.

“The damage it has caused is very bad. Cattle have also been affected. Everything has been destroyed.”

Video footage shared on social media showed rescuers pulling a rhinoceros calf from swollen floodwaters in the state’s World Heritage-listed Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the world’s remaining one-horned rhinos.

In Bihar, which borders Nepal — and like Assam is one of the worst-affected regions in India — locals told AFP they were unable to reach food supplies.

 Some 33 deaths have been reported and 2.5 million residents affected in the state. Locals were erecting makeshift shelters on elevated land with the meagre belongings they had salvaged from the floodwaters. In Mumbai, the number of victims from a building collapse following heavy rains rose to 14.

In Nepal, at least 83 people have died and 17,000 families have been displaced, but people have started to return as water levels recede, Home Ministry spokesman Ram Krishna Subedi told AFP.

Further northwest, in the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, flash floods killed 23 people.

Seven people from the same family, including five children, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed due to heavy rainfall in Sheikhupura city near Lahore, Pakistani officials said.

Aid agency Save the Children said damaged infrastructure, including roads and bridges, were making it difficult to access remote communities, with thousands of villages cut off.