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Sylhet’s suffering mounts as floodwater submerges fresh areas

TBP Desk
21 Jun 2024 00:08:45 | Update: 21 Jun 2024 00:08:45
Sylhet’s suffering mounts as floodwater submerges fresh areas

Fresh downstream areas of Sunamganj and Sylhet districts are being inundated with gushing waters from upstream areas in northeast India accompanied by downpours while the flood situation remains unchanged.

Though water levels in the district headquarters and the Surma River have decreased slightly as there was no rain since Wednesday night, but water level in Kushiyara has gone up, inundating new areas in the downstream of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Moulvibazar districts, official sources said, reports BSS.

Floodwater stranded some 1.8 million people in the two districts till 6pm Thursday.

"Flood waters stranded over 9,57,000 people... 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.

Control rooms have been opened at DC office and Upazila Nirbahi Officers' (UNO) 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.

According to Sylhet district administration, 1,602 villages and four out of five municipalities of the 13 upazilas as well as 23 out of 43 wards of the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) were flooded, forcing 21,786 people to take refuge in 361 shelter centres.

Some 2,600 people took refuge in 20 shelters in the city corporation area, it said.

The flood water submerged different upazila health complexes, including Companiganj, Fenchuganj and Goainghat upazila health complexes, said Sylhet Deputy Civil Surgeon Dr Jonmejoy Datta.

"We, however, continue providing healthcare services amid this worsening flood situation," he added.

"Eleven out of 12 upazilas, including Sadar upazila and the municipality, in Sunamganj were flooded, marooning about 8,43,000 people in the district," Sunamganj DC Mohammad Rashed Iqubal Chowdhury told reporters.

As 1,306 villages of 11 upazilas have been submerged, 23,849 people have already taken refuge in 694 shelters in the district, he said.

BSS reported that fresh downstream areas in Derai and Shulla of the district are being inundated with flood water flowed from upstream, increasing sufferings of the common people as all 12 upazilas have already been affected by the flood.

Besides, the flood water has already affected thousands of people of hundreds of villages under 20 unions of seven upazilas of Moulvibazar district, leaving more than 1,00,000 people stranded.

Moulvibazar DC Dr Urmi Binte Salam said UNOs of the flood affected upazilas have been given instruction to monitor the situation and supply sufficient medicines and food at the shelters.


Situation may remain unchanged

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), the flood situation in some low-lying areas of Netrokona district and Sylhet and Sunamganj districts in the north-eastern part of the country may remain unchanged in 24 hours, starting from 9am Thursday.

The Surma River was flowing 78cm above the danger level in Sylhet's Kanaighat and 24cm above the danger level in Sylhet point, which are 18cm and 13cm less than on Wednesday respectively.

Simultaneously, the Surma was flowing 26 cm above the danger level in Sunamganj point while it was flowing above 129cm in Chhatak point and 32cm in Derai point.

The Kushiyara was flowing 84cm above the danger level at Amalshid point, 33cm in Sheola point, 102cm in Fenchuganj, and 20cm in Sherpur of Sylhet.

Besides, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) predicted continuous rainfall across the country for the next five days commencing 9am Thursday, creating possibility of worsening flood situation further in the region.

According to the FFWC, the Brahmaputra and Jamuna rivers are in rising trend and may continuously rise for the next 72 hours with a chance of reaching the warning level at some points while the Ganges and Padma rivers would remain in rising trend in the next 48 hours.

Except Surma, it said, major rivers in the north-eastern region of the country are in rising trend and it may continue for the next 24 hours.

In the next 48 hours, the FFWC said, the water level of Dudhkumar, Teesta and Dharla rivers in the northern part of the country may rise and short-term flooding may occur in some low-lying areas of Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur districts. The River Teesta may cross danger level at Dalia Point in next 24 hours for a short period of time.

State Minister for Water Resources Ministry Zahid Faruk on Thursday said the government will take steps to dredge the Surma River to protect Sylhet city from early floods.

The construction work of nine dredging stations across the country is underway and steps will be taken for dredging of the Surma soon, he told reporters after visiting the Shaadi Canal in Tukerbazar area of the city, reports UNB.

Water from upstream brings silt that obstructs the normal flow of the river, he said, adding, “We have talked to the engineers that the dredging of the Surma River will begin soon.”

All necessary steps will be taken to deal with the flood situation, he said.


HSC exams postponed till Jul 8

The government has postponed the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent exams in Sylhet division till July 8 due to the ongoing flood situation.

The HSC exams will begin in Sylhet division from July 9, Tapan Kanti Sarkar, the chairman of Dhaka Education Board and Inter-Education Board, confirmed to UNB on Thursday.

About 1,00,000 HSC examinees are scheduled to appear in the exams this year from Sylhet.

According to the routine, HSC and its equivalent exams are scheduled to begin on June 30 across the country. A total of 14,50,790 students from 9,463 educational institutions under nine general education boards, madrasah board and technical board will sit for the exams at 2,275 centres.

Earlier, Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury Nowfel hinted that the HSC and its equivalent exams will be held later in Sylhet if the region sees severe flooding.