Bangladesh is likely to witness a prolonged flood inundating low-lying areas in nearly 25 districts due to the rise of water levels in all major three river basins and the southeastern hill regions coupled with the heavy to very heavy rainfall in the upstream Indian states and in the country.
“The second phase flood this season may continue at a stretch till the end of this month and it could prolong in the next month too on the basis of rainfall with water levels of major rivers remaining above danger levels,” BWDB executive engineer Md Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told news agency BSS on Tuesday.
He said the country has already witnessed a very heavy rainfall for 5-6 days this month and it may experience another round of very heavy downpour with a break of a week. This will cause the rise of water levels in the major rivers.
Bhuiyan said the country witnessed the first phase of flood from 26 June to 7 July affecting around 15 districts due to onrush of upstream waters and heavy downpours.
The BWDB official further said the waters levels of major river basins marked fall for several days in the first week of this month and with a break of 4-5 days, it started rising again causing the second phase of flood.
Asked whether the flood this year could be similar to that of 1988 or 1998, the BWDB official said it is now difficult to say what will happen as the 1988 floods lasted for 33 days at a stretch
Water levels in Brahmaputra and upper Meghna basins started rising again from 9-10 July. This has been causing inundation of low-lying areas of northeastern districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet and Netrokona and northern districts of Kurigram, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur and Gaibandha, northwest Natore and Noagaon, north central Bogura, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Tangail.
Bhuiyan said low-lying areas along with haor and swamp areas in 20 districts have already been affected and 4-5 districts more are likely to witness the second phase of floods.
He said the water levels of major rivers may fall again in this month but would remain above the danger levels and likely to start rising again due to heavy rainfall in the next week and onrush of upstream waters.
Asked whether the flood this year could be similar to that of 1988 or 1998, the BWDB official said it is now difficult to say what will happen as the 1988 floods lasted for 33 days at a stretch.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of BWDB today predicted that the flood situation may further worsen in 14 districts and improve in six districts in the next 24 hours
This year, the first phase flood did not last too many days but the second phase could prolong but there could be breaks with the falling of water levels in major rivers. However, the overall flood situation may continue throughout the month of July, he added.
Northern regions in the upper Brahmaputra basins are witnessing a further deteriorated situation with over 500,000 people marooned in seven districts.
BWDB officials said major rivers were flowing above danger marks at 10 points in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura and Sirajganj at 9:00am today due to an increase rate of onrushing water from the upstream and heavy rainfall inundating fresh areas.
The flood situation in northeastern districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet and Netrokona remained static as the water levels of major rivers marked fall or remained steady in the last 24 hours till 9:00am today.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of BWDB today predicted that the flood situation may further worsen in 14 districts and improve in six districts in the next 24 hours.
The situation may further worsen in northern districts of Kurigram, Gaibandha and Dinajpur, northwestern Natore and Naogaon, north-central Bogura, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Tangail and central districts of Munshiganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Dhaka by Wednesday, it added.
Northeastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona and northern districts of Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur may witness an improved flood situation in the next 24 hours, said an FFWC bulletin.
Thousands of people are experiencing second phase of flood in low-lying, haor and swamp areas in the northeastern districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj and some areas in Habiganj as well.
People of Sumamganj are witnessing major spikes of flood in the region as low-lying areas in Chhatak, Doyarabazar, South Sunamganj and Jagannathpur upazila have gone under water due to overflowing water levels of river Surma at different points, caused by onrush of upstream water along with heavy to very heavy rainfall.
District town’s road communications still remained cut off with all upazila headquarters. Besides communications between some upazilas were also cut off as roads went under flood waters.
Over hundred fish enclosures in Surma, Bogula and Doyara unions in Sunamganj have overflowed due to flood waters causing loss of fishes worth millions. Doyarabazar upazila is the worst affected in the second phase of flood in the district.
In the Brahmaputra basin, water levels of upper Atrai marked a sharp rise of 76cm at Bhushirbandar point in Dinajpur flowing 36cm above its danger level at the point till 9:00am while river Gur was flowing 32 above its danger level at Singra point in nonwestern Natore district with a 7cm rise overnight.
Water levels of river Atrai marked a 19cm and 17cm rise overnight at Baghabari point in Sirajganj and Atrai point Naogaon flowing 25cm and 13cm above its danger levels respectively till 9:00am while river Dhaleshwari was flowing 25cm above its danger level at Elashinghat point with a 26cm rise overnight.
In the Ganges-Padma basin, Padma river was flowing 30cm and 2cm above its danger level at Goalondo point in Rajbari and Bhagyakul point in Munshiganj till 9:00am with a 25cm rise and 24cm rise overnight.
In the upper Meghna basin, Surma river was flowing 69cm, 03cam and 14cm above its danger marks at Kanaighat point in Sylhet district, Sylhet point and Sunamganj point with 2cm, 6cm and 17cm fall at the respective points till 9:00am, it said.
Kushiyara river was flowing 20cm above its danger level at Amalshid point in Sylhet district with a 3cm rise overnight while water levels of Old Surma marked a 4cm rise flowing 35cm above its danger mark at Derai point in Sunamganj and Someshwari was flowing 13cm above its danger level at Kalmakanda point in Netrokona district with a 14cm fall overnight.
According to FFWC, the recorded rainfalls were 155 millimeters (MM) at Kurigram, 58mm at Cox’s Bazar, 55mm at Sylhet, 107mm Noakhali, 55mm at Bandarban, 55mm at Dalia, 92mm at Teknaf, 55mm at Lalakhal and 52mm at Chilmari station in the last 24 hours till 9:00am today in the downstream.
During that period, 49mm rainfall was recorded at Cherrapunji and 44mm at Gangtok stations of the northwestern Indian states of Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura in the upstream.
Bangladesh Metrological Department predicted that light to moderate rain is likely to occur at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions and at a few places over Rajshahi and Dhaka divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over the country till 9:00am tomorrow.
It said the rainfall activity may decrease gradually in the next 72 hours while the axis of monsoon runs through Rajsthan, Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal to Assam across central part of Bangladesh.
One of its associated trough extends up to North Bay and monsoon is fairly active over Bangladesh and moderate over North Bay, it added.