Third wave of flood devastates Sylhet, over 710,000 people affected

Inundation in Monipuri Rajbari area of Sylhet city on 3 July 2024 morning due to heavy rains for two daysProthom Alo

Over 711,000 people in 13 upazilas of Sylhet district are grappling with the third wave of flooding, even before the effects of the second wave have fully subsided.

Heavy rains and upstream water flow on Monday have inundated several upazilas along with different areas of Sylhet city.

In the latest flooding, 97 unions across 13 upazilas have been submerged, leaving over 700,000 people stranded. Approximately 8,351 residents are currently taking refuge in 189 shelters, according to the Sylhet district administration.

All upazilas in Sylhet have been impacted by the floods, which are attributed to hill torrents and excessive rainfall. The Surma and Kushiyara rivers, among others, are flowing above danger levels at multiple points.

The Water Development Board office in Sylhet reported that at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, the Surma River at Kanaighat point was 112 cm above the danger level. At the Sylhet point, the water level was at 10.79 cm, just below the danger threshold of 10.80 cm.

The Kushiyara River’s water levels were 89 cm above the danger level at Amalshid point, 97 cm at Fenchuganj point, 26 cm at Sheola point, and 17 cm at Sherpur point. Meanwhile, the water levels of the Sari, Sarigowain, and Lova rivers have slightly decreased.

In the latest flooding, 97 unions across 13 upazilas have been submerged, leaving over 700,000 people stranded

Shah Md. Sajib Hossain, assistant meteorologist at the Sylhet office of Bangladesh Meteorological Department, reported 14 mm of rainfall from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Tuesday, with heavy rain expected to continue until today, Wednesday.

Sylhet deputy commissioner Sheikh Russel Hasan stated that the possibility of a third wave of floods had been anticipated, prompting upazila executive officers to prepare in advance following directives from higher authorities.

He assured that relief centres are ready and that the government is fully prepared to handle the situation with caution.

Sylhet previously experienced severe flooding on 27 May due to heavy rains and torrents from upstream, which had largely subsided by 8 June .

However, continuous rain from 17 June led to a second wave of flooding. Before recovery efforts could be completed, the third wave struck on 1 July, further exacerbating the situation.