Experts predict major flooding in Bangladesh’s north, northwestern regions by next week

Experts predict major flooding in Bangladesh’s north, northwestern regions by next week.
Experts predict major flooding in Bangladesh’s north, northwestern regions by next week.Photo: BSS
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Torrential rains in upstream regions in India continued to inflate waters in the Brahmaputra river amid expert fears it could be a prelude to a major flooding in the Bangladesh’s north and northwestern region by next week.

The upper riparian Indian regions of Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya and West Bengal are likely to witness heavier downpours from 24/25 June, inflating further the water levels of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river.
FFWC executive engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan

Bangladesh Water Development Board’s (BWDB) Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) forecasted a probable “short to mid-term” flood in the upper Brahmaputra basin by the next week this month.

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“The upper riparian Indian regions of Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya and West Bengal are likely to witness heavier downpours from 24/25 June, inflating further the water levels of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river,” FFWC executive engineer M Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told BSS.

He predicted the deluge to start engulfing the areas along the Brahmaputra-Jamuna basin in next 10 days when the river was likely to cross its danger marks at different points.

The FFWC prediction came as met offices of Bangladesh and India said their mathematical weather modal suggested possibility of heavy rain falls in next 72 hours Bangladesh’s north and northeastern regions and adjoining states of India.

Bhuiyn said if the forecast turned true, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sirajganj and Pabna in the north and northwest and Jamalpur, Tangail and Manikganj in central Bangladesh could be exposed to the deluge.

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The FFWC, however, said it saw no possibility of a simultaneous flooding in Ganges-Padma basin covering remaining parts of northwestern Bangladesh to aggravate the situation.

But the Centre said morphological trend suggested a steady rise in the water levels in the Ganges-Padma river during the next one month which is usual for this part of the year.

“From end June onward, water levels of the Brahmaputra and other smaller rivers of the north and northeastern regions might continue to rise rapidly to cause a short to mid-term flood,” Bhuiyan said.

He added that the water level in the upper Meghna basin covering northeast and parts of central Bangladesh would swallow as well but unlikely to cause a synchronized deluge and major flooding or inundate simultaneously a greater part of the country.

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Under an official arrangement the FFWC receive in advance information about heavy downpours, floods and declaration of red alert situations in India’s Bihar, Assam and other upstream regions during the rainy seasons through the Joint River Commission (JRC).

BWDB simultaneously avails flood related data on the Brahmaputra from Department of Water Resources in China, where the Brahmaputra originated, enabling Bangladesh to take advanced preparedness against any major flooding.

Talking to BSS BWDB’s chief engineer for Rangpur zone Jyoti Prosad Ghosh today said his office took adequate early preparedness to face any situation during floods in all eight districts of Rangpur division.

But siltation heightened the Teesta’s river bed for which the river quickly surpass its banks during heavy or protracted downpours . . . in such cases, the situation worsens if India opens its Gozaldoba Barrage gates in the upstream at that time.
Executive engineer Rabiul Islam

“We are procuring 10,000 to 15,000 pieces of geo-textile bags for each of the 12 divisions of three circles of BWBD’s Rangpur zone to save flood control embankments,” he said.

The official said BWDB’s Rangpur division by now completed repair works of flood control structures at several points of particularly the Gangachara upazila on the right bank of the Teesta river, a major river of the Brahmaputra basin.

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He said repair works of flood control embankments by the sides of major rivers in Kurigram and Gaibandha were expected to be completed before the “season flood” this year.

BWDB officials in Dhaka said they were prepared with extra resources and allocations for emergency needs in case of any major deluge in the region.

The board’s Teesta Barrage division executive engineer Md Rabiul Islam said the Teesta was still flowing bellow its danger mark at its major Dalia point at Nilphamari’s Dimla upazila.

“But siltation heightened the Teesta’s river bed for which the river quickly surpass its banks during heavy or protracted downpours . . . in such cases, the situation worsens if India opens its Gozaldoba Barrage gates in the upstream at that time,” Rabiul added.

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