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18 August, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Water recedes, diseases spread

Floods hit central, southern areas

Floods hit central, southern areas
Marooned people pass subhuman life as large swathes of areas under Fulchhari upazila in Gaibandha remain underwater due to the swelling up of rivers in the district over the past eight days. The photo was taken at Hatathpara village yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

Receding floodwaters in the north and north-eastern parts have eased the flood situation a bit, even though most of the rivers in those regions are still flowing at or above their respective danger levels. Besides, new areas in central and southern regions have been flooded with the onrush of water towards the Bay of Bengal.

Our district correspondents report that the flood situation in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Netakona, Mymensingh and Brahmanbaria has improved. However, the situation in Joypurhat, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj, Naogaon and Sherpur has deteriorated.

Besides, new areas in Faridpur, Rajbari, Tangail, Shariatpur, Manikganj and some areas in Dhaka have been flooded afresh, while the situation in Kurigram, Rajshahi and Jamalpur has remained static.

Our correspondents reported an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the northern region as the floodwaters have started receding. People there are also facing acute food and drinking water shortage.

The communication between the capital and the 21 districts of south and south-western regions has been seriously disrupted. The Padma and the Jamuna are on the rise in Mankikganj.

The disrupted ferry service on the Paturia-Daulatdia channel created a long traffic tailback yesterday. Several hundred vehicles, including passenger coaches, bus and private cars, remained stranded at Paturia in Manikganj and Daulatdia in the Rajbari terminal. Thousands of passengers had to wait for several hours on both sides of the Padma as the ferry movement was hampered till evening.

Md Jillur Rahman, assistant general manager of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at the Aricha sector, told the Independent that a sudden rise in the water level of the Padma disrupted the smooth movement of ferries on the river route.

Shafiqul Islam, manager (commerce) of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Daulotdia ghat, said ferries were taking twice the usual time to negotiate the heavy current. The Padma was flowing above the danger mark and its currents were getting stronger, he added.

Sources in the Bangladesh Water Development Bord (BWDB) said the Padma was flowing 78cm above the danger mark at Aricha point yesterday afternoon.

Two pontoons went under water at Paturia, hampering the loading and the unloading of ferries. This compounded the traffic problem. Two out of the three ghats were being used as the authorities concerned could not repair Ghat No. 5 of Paturia.

BIWTC officials were yet to find any solution to the problem till the filing of this report.

Flood-affected people are also facing an odd situation with their cattle as they cannot return home and collect fodder.  

Two minor boys drowned in Belkuchi area of Sirajganj yesterday.

It is reported that about 2,640 educational institutions remained closed due to the flood that submerged about 285,847 hectares of cultivable land.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, the Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma showing a rising trend, while the Brahmaputra and the Surma-Kushiyara are falling.

Sarder Udoy Raihan, a sub-divisional engineer of the BWDB, said the central region, including Dhaka and districts adjacent to the Padma river, might face the brunt of the rising waters. The water level may continue to rise in the next 72 hours.

He also said the Jamuna started to fall from the afternoon, indicating that the situation in the northern part would improve further. The four rivers surrounding the capital were showing a rising trend, but they were still flowing below the danger level, he added.

The flood situation has deteriorated in four unions under Bhuapur upazila of Tangail district due to the onrush of water from the upstream of the Jamuna and heavy showers. Parts of the important flood control embankment on the Bhuapur–Tarakanda  road at Kawamara point have been washed away, resulting in the flooding of vast areas in Bhuapur, Goplapur and Kalihati upazilas.

The Jamuna was flowing 124cm above danger level at Bhuapur point yesterday.

Parts of the flood control embankment of Kutiboira-Jogothpura on the Bhuapur-Tarakanda road under Bhuapur upazila of Tangail district have become vulnerable. The WDB is trying to protect the important dam, said its executive engineer Sahjahan Siraj.

All modes of transportation have been suspended in Tarakanda. This has disrupted communication between Tarakanda and the rest of the district since yesterday morning.

Rail communication from Jamuna Bridge (east) station to Jamalpur has been suspended as the railway tracks have been inundated in Kawamara area, Abdul Kader, local station master, told The Independent.

People of the flood-affected areas have become marooned. Some of them have taken shelter on embankments and educational institutions. Standing Aman crops on a few thousand acres of land have been damaged. About 45000 cattle heads have been affected as fodder crisis prevails in the area.

The upazila health and family planning officer of Bhuapur, Abu Sama, said that medical teams had been formed to tackle the situation. Scarcity of safe drinking water and baby food prevails in the affected area as most of the tubewells have been inundated by flood water.

Tangail DC Khan Mohammad Nurul Amin said that relief would be distributed among locals from Friday.

In Bogra, the Jamuna started to recede slowly, said Md. Ruhul Ameen, executive engineer of the Bogra WDB yesterday afternoon. “The Jamuna was flowing 121 cm above the danger level at the Bogra point at 6am. It’ll recede further in the evening,” he added.

Many flood-affected people are allegedly being cheated by the health department in some areas of Sonatola, Sariakandi and Dhunut as the water-purification tablets being distributed among them have been found ineffective.

Bogra civil surgeon Dr Samsul Haque said 37 medical teams were working in the flood affected areas iof the district. He, however, denied the existence a diarrhoea epidemic in the area.

Asked about the ineffective water purification tablets, the civil surgeon said the tablets became ineffective due to improper preservation. “I have asked my team members to retrieve the distributed tablets. I have also asked them to stop distributing those tablets,” he added.

Bogra DC Md Nur Alom Siddiquee told The Independent that the district administration always looked after the flood-affected people.

Around 75,000 people in 20 unions of Sonatola, Sariakandi and Dhunut of the district are under the threat of water-borne diseases as floodwaters have started to recede in those areas.

In Lalmonirhat, the overall flood situation in five upazilas has improved as the water level of Teesta is receding rapidly. However, the Dharla is still flowing 27cm above the danger mark. People in the Dharla river basin areas are living miserably with inadequate help from the government.  

Flood victims of different areas returned home from flood shelter centres.

The district administration has distributed 382 metric tonnes of rice and Tk.1,275,000 among the flood victims in five upazilas of the district in the last few days. Besides, various social organisation, students of different educational institutions, a group of teachers of Begum Rokeya University, Sommilito Sanskritik Jote, Abu Sayed Dula, MP, advocate Motiar Rahaman, chairman of the Lalmonirhat district council, Asadul Habib Dulu, organising sectary of the BNP executive committee, Motahar Hossen, MP, and Nurujjaman Ahammed, state minister for social welfare, distributed relief among victims in their respective areas .

The Army and the BGB set up medical camps in some areas for treating the flood victims.

Communication from Lalmonirhat to Dhaka and other districts have resumed. The Lalmoni-Burimari route remains suspended due to broken rail tracks at  Hatibandha point. Presently, trains are only running on the Lalmoni-Votmari route.

As many as 349 government primary schools were closed in five upazilas. But many of them have already resumed their classes, according to sources.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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