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Rangpur flashfloods leave 30,000 stranded, submerge croplands

Zakir Hossain . Rangpur
23 Oct 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 23 Oct 2021 00:14:46
Rangpur flashfloods leave 30,000 stranded, submerge croplands
Vast croplands and thousands of homesteads in low-lying areas of five district of the Rangpur region have been inundated due to flashfloods triggered by an onrush of upstream water and incessant heavy rains in the past week. Although the flood water has been receding and flowing under the danger mark in the Rangpur region for the last 24 hours (Friday), over 7,000 houses are still submerged, said Gangachara Upazila Nirbahi Officer Taslima Begum. Over 7,829 hectares of cropland, mainly consisting of paddy and vegetables, in five districts of Rangpur division – Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, and Lalmonirhat – have been submerged, said Mahbubur Rahman, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Rangpur district. In Rangpur, 2,650 hectares of cropland have been submerged. “We have distributed 20 tonnes of food relief in total and dry food worth Tk 900 among each family,” the DAE official said. At least 30 villages adjacent to the Teesta river basin have been flooded, affecting around 30,000 people of 10,000 families in seven unions – Kolkanda, Alam Biditar, Lakshmitari, Gajaghanta, Marania, Nohali , and Gangachara—under the Gangachara Upazila of Rangpur district. The situation worsened after India opened all gates at Gajoldoba Teesta Barrage point on Wednesday morning. Executive Engineer of the water development board’s Rangpur office Ahsan Habib said the Teesta was flowing above the danger level at Gangachara point. However, it will recede as soon as the rainfall stops. Bangladesh Water Development Board had issued a red alert in the Teesta river basin and asked people to take shelter in safer places. Deputy Divisional Engineer of the water development board’s Nilphamari office Rashedin Islam said the red alert was issued as the river was flowing 52.6cm above the danger level at the Dalia barrage point till Thursday. “We have opened all the 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage to manage the onrush of water and the water level is on the receding trend” he said. Many of the flood victims took shelter in makeshift houses on the river embankment, highlands, and relatives’ places along with domestic cattle, said Kolkanda union parishad Chairman Sohrab Hossain Razu. Lakshmitari union Chairman Abdullah Al Hadi said above 5,000 families of the union in char areas had been stranded. He said many houses had been flooded, and people had been suffering severely. Gangachara Upazila Nirbahi Officer Taslima Begum said the people of the upazila had been alerted on Wednesday morning through loudspeaker announcements in the river basin area. “We have kept our flood shelters ready for the victims. We have been distributing rice and dry food among them,” she added. Rangpur Deputy Commissioner Asif Ahsan said the district administration was on alert. Meanwhile, floods have inundated low-lying areas in different upazilas of Kurigram, leaving more than 2,000 people marooned. The Teesta was flowing 20cm above the danger level at the Kaunia point on Thursday. As many as 2,000 people in Gharial Danga and Vidyananda unions of Rajarhat upazila in the district were stranded. Besides, floodwater damaged Aman paddy and vegetables in the district. Putul Rani, a resident of Namavrat village, said, “Despite having supplies in stock, I cannot cook anything as there is waist-deep water everywhere in my house.” “This is a terrible way to live,” she said. Hanif Ali of the same village said, “My house has been submerged. My family members have barely eaten since Wednesday. We need immediate help.” Rajarhat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Noor Tasnim said 10 tonnes of food assistance was provided for the flood-affected people on Thursday morning, and more would follow.

Vast croplands and thousands of homesteads in low-lying areas of five district of the Rangpur region have been inundated due to flashfloods triggered by an onrush of upstream water and incessant heavy rains in the past week.

Although the flood water has been receding and flowing under the danger mark in the Rangpur region for the last 24 hours (Friday), over 7,000 houses are still submerged, said Gangachara Upazila Nirbahi Officer Taslima Begum.

Over 7,829 hectares of cropland, mainly consisting of paddy and vegetables, in five districts of Rangpur division – Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, and Lalmonirhat – have been submerged, said Mahbubur Rahman, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Rangpur district.

In Rangpur, 2,650 hectares of cropland have been submerged. “We have distributed 20 tonnes of food relief in total and dry food worth Tk 900 among each family,” the DAE official said.

At least 30 villages adjacent to the Teesta river basin have been flooded, affecting around 30,000 people of 10,000 families in seven unions – Kolkanda, Alam Biditar, Lakshmitari, Gajaghanta, Marania, Nohali , and Gangachara—under the Gangachara Upazila of Rangpur district.

The situation worsened after India opened all gates at Gajoldoba Teesta Barrage point on Wednesday morning.

Executive Engineer of the water development board’s Rangpur office Ahsan Habib said the Teesta was flowing above the danger level at Gangachara point. However, it will recede as soon as the rainfall stops.

Bangladesh Water Development Board had issued a red alert in the Teesta river basin and asked people to take shelter in safer places.

Deputy Divisional Engineer of the water development board’s Nilphamari office Rashedin Islam said the red alert was issued as the river was flowing 52.6cm above the danger level at the Dalia barrage point till Thursday.

“We have opened all the 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage to manage the onrush of water and the water level is on the receding trend” he said.

Many of the flood victims took shelter in makeshift houses on the river embankment, highlands, and relatives’ places along with domestic cattle, said Kolkanda union parishad Chairman Sohrab Hossain Razu.

Lakshmitari union Chairman Abdullah Al Hadi said above 5,000 families of the union in char areas had been stranded.

He said many houses had been flooded, and people had been suffering severely.

Gangachara Upazila Nirbahi Officer Taslima Begum said the people of the upazila had been alerted on Wednesday morning through loudspeaker announcements in the river basin area.

“We have kept our flood shelters ready for the victims. We have been distributing rice and dry food among them,” she added.

Rangpur Deputy Commissioner Asif Ahsan said the district administration was on alert.

Meanwhile, floods have inundated low-lying areas in different upazilas of Kurigram, leaving more than 2,000 people marooned.

The Teesta was flowing 20cm above the danger level at the Kaunia point on Thursday.

As many as 2,000 people in Gharial Danga and Vidyananda unions of Rajarhat upazila in the district were stranded.

Besides, floodwater damaged Aman paddy and vegetables in the district.

Putul Rani, a resident of Namavrat village, said, “Despite having supplies in stock, I cannot cook anything as there is waist-deep water everywhere in my house.”

“This is a terrible way to live,” she said.

Hanif Ali of the same village said, “My house has been submerged.

My family members have barely eaten since Wednesday. We need immediate help.”

Rajarhat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Noor Tasnim said 10 tonnes of food assistance was provided for the flood-affected people on Thursday morning, and more would follow.