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Flood displaces 38,000, maroons 1.45m in greater Sylhet

TBP Report
19 Jun 2024 23:26:52 | Update: 19 Jun 2024 23:27:04
Flood displaces 38,000, maroons 1.45m in greater Sylhet
Locals wade through waist-deep water in an area of Sylhet city on Wednesday — Courtesy Photo

Gushing waters from upstream areas in northeast India accompanied by downpours continued to inundate fresh areas in Sylhet and neighbouring Sunamganj on Wednesday, with officials saying the deluge so far has forced 38,000 people to take refuge in safer places and marooned some 1.45 million people.

"Flood waters stranded some 8,50,000 people till Wednesday afternoon... low-lying areas of Sylhet city and all its 13 upazilas were affected by the flood," Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Sylhet Sheikh Russel Hasan told reporters, reports BSS.

BSS reported that the flood almost submerged entirely six upazilas of Companiganj, Kanaighat, Jointa and Fenchuganj, Goainghat and Dakkhin Surma, destroying standing Aus rice fields.

Officials at the makeshift control room of Sunamganj DC office said 6,00,000 lakh people were marooned in 11 out of 12 upazilas of the district while the Surma and Kushiyara and their tributaries and some other small rivers surpassed their marks inundating the low lying areas in the two districts.

Residents of the two district headquarters said the major areas of the two cities are now virtually under water submerging hundreds of houses.

Sylhet DC Sheikh Russel said the district administration is on alert as the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) predicted heavy rainfall for the next three days that might deteriorate the flood situation.

Control rooms have been opened at DC office and Upazila Nirbahi Officers' offices to monitor the situation, he said, adding that dedicated officers have been appointed for every upazila and tag officers for every union.

Besides, union-based medical team have been formed to provide health services to the flood affected people, Russel said, adding that providing relief under government and non-government management is going on.

The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has opened a control room and cancelled leave of its all officials.

Sylhet City Mayor Anwaruzzaman said volunteer teams of the city corporation are providing necessary help to the flood victims and sufficient food has been managed at the shelters.

Army deployed to protect substation

Meanwhile, at the request of the SCC, Bangladesh Army has been protecting Baraikandi power substation in Dakkhin Surma Upazila of Sylhet from flooding since Tuesday night.

The deployment came on Tuesday following a request from Sylhet City Corporation, and under the guidance of Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed in accordance with “In Aid to the Civil Power.”

Electricity is supplied from this power substation to Sylhet Railway Station, Sylhet city's neighbouring areas including Barikandi, Kamalbazar, Masukganj, Bisik, Lalabazar, Shibbari and Kadamtali central bus terminal.

The army personnel are working around the clock to ensure uninterrupted power supply in these areas.

Rivers flowing above danger level

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) at 6pm Wednesday, the Surma River was flowing 96cm above the danger level in Sylhet's Kanaighat and 37cm above the danger level in Sylhet point.

The Surma was flowing 41 cm above the danger level in Sunamganj point. The Kushiyara was flowing 62cm above the danger level at Amalshid point in Zakiganj, 100cm in Fenchuganj, and 21cm in Sherpur of Sylhet.

Sunamganj city recorded 100mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours till 9am Wednesday. Rainfall at Lorergarh in Sunamganj's Tahirpur was recorded 78mm and 84mm was recorded in Chaatak, FFWC said.

In the same period, 94mm of rainfall was recorded in Sylhet city, 77mm in Kanaighat and 75mm in Sherpur.

During the same period, in India part, 123mm of rainfall was recorded in Dhubri (Assam), 110mm in Cherrapunji (Meghalaya), 106mm in Kailashahar (Tripura), 72mm in Goalpara (Assam) and 59mm in Agartala (Tripura).

The FFWC said all the major rivers in the north-eastern region of the country may rise in the next 24 hours. As a result, some low-lying areas along the river of Netrokona district and ongoing flood situation in the Sylhet and Sunamganj districts may deteriorate.

The ongoing flood situation in the Monu-Khowai river-connected low-lying areas of Moulvibazar and Habiganj districts may remain steady, it said.

The FFWC said the Brahmaputra-Jamuna River is in rising trend and may continuously rise for the next 72 hours with a chance of touching the warning level at some points while the Ganges-Padma rivers are in rising trend, which may continue in next 48 hours.

Except Surma, all the major rivers in the north-eastern region of the country are in rising trend, it added.

In the next 24 to 48 hours, the FFWC said, Dudhkumar, Teesta, Dharala rivers in the northern region of the country may rise and may experience a short-term flood situation in the low-lying areas of the Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur districts.

Hospitals asked to store medicines, saline

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Samanta Lal Sen on Wednesday asked the authorities of all public hospitals in flood-affected Sylhet region to keep an adequate stock of saline and medicines to tackle the outbreak of water-borne diseases including diarrhoea.

He gave the directives during an urgent meeting -- with the concerned officials of the Sylhet division's health service sector -- through videoconferencing from the secretariat in Dhaka, reports BSS.

The health minister said enough saline and medicines should be stored in hospitals and medical centres to deal with the outbreak of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases in flood-affected regions.

Besides, he asked the authorities concerned to keep enough anti-venom in hospitals to provide treatment to the patients suffering from snake bites.

Samanta also instructed them to take necessary measures to provide proper healthcare to flood-hit people in consultation with local lawmakers.