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Flood forecasting and warning centre executive engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told Prothom Alo that the countrymen have never seen such devastating flood that inundated nearly 80 per cent of area of the division.

All floods hit previously in the division only affected haor and its adjacent areas. But this time the village, city and even the high-lands have gone underwater.

There is no possibility of receding the water before Monday since the heavy rain might pour in the next two days in the upstream, Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan added.

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMW), there will be nearly 500 to 600 millimeters of rainfall in Cherrapunji, an upstream region of Bangladesh. The region recorded 972 millimeters of rainfall, the highest in 122 years, in the last 24 hours, and 2500 millimeters in the last three days, the highest in 100 years.

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River and environment experts said the majority of rivers in Sylhet, including Surma, Kushiara, Goain, have silted up, resulting in flooding localities when the rain pours coupled with onrush of water.

The capacity of storing water in haor areas has waned for various reasons, including farming, that cause the water level to rise in flood, they claimed.

According to the observation of the flood forecasting center of University of Maryland in the United States, the flow of water was 12,000 cubic meters per second in the Surma river at around 6:00am today, Friday. The water level was about one meter above the danger zone, the highest in 50 years.

Saskatchewan university researcher Mustafa Kamal told Prothom Alo that "The surrounding areas, including Cherrapunji, are the rainiest regions in the world. This year, the clouds and monsoon winds were quite strong due to the turbulent nature of Bay of Bengal, triggering incessant rain."

"We have to dig our rivers immediately in a bid to enhance their capacity in storing water. Otherwise, we will have to face such devastating floods every year," Mustafa Kamal warned.

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