Fear of floods looms up north

River Salda flows over danger level at Bayek union under Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria district.
Prothom Alo

Floodwater suddenly receded across the three districts of Sylhet division as well as Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar. However, there is still the risk of flooding because the rivers Brahmaputra and Teesta have swelled following the downpour in the highlands of Assam and West Bengal in India.

Forecasters have warned that the two major tributaries would flow over danger level and inundate floodplains across the northern part of Bangladesh in the next 10-12 days. Flood forecasting and warning centre under Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) recently made this warning.

The forecasting said 63 among 101 points of the river basin in the country swelled while water levels receded in 37 points.

Although water levels in all the rivers and tributaries flowed below the danger mark on Saturday, rivers like Teesta, Dudhkumar, Dharla, Brahmaputra, Meghna and some tributaries across Chittagong Hill Tracts might swell shortly on Saturday. Some areas would see flash floods.

The flood forecasting and warning centre’s executive engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told Prothom Alo, the floodwater level across the CHT might rise and fall till 5 July while downpours would cause swelling of the large rivers like Brahmaputra, Meghna and Teesta. If there are floods, this would last for a couple of weeks.

The possibility of floods looms large as rainfall in the country coupled with the downpour upstream has intensified. Almost all the districts in Bangladesh saw rains yesterday, Friday.

The meteorological department recorded 90 millimetres rainfall in Dhaka, highest in the country that day. The country will see moderate to heavy rains in the next couple of days. Some areas would see heavy rainfall or over 100 ml of rainfall.

Jamuna is swelling

Increasing water level in the River Jamuna was spotted in Bogura district because of incessant rains and water from upstream.

Jamuna's water level increased 24.47 cm up at the Mathurapara point at Sariakandi, Bogura. However, water through the point flowed below danger level yesterday.

As the water level is swelling, farmers fear damage of jute, ausc crop, vegetables, seeds and chilies they cultivated on acres of land.

According BWDB unit in Bogura, 16.70cm is the danger mark for the Jamuna at Sariakandi point. Water flowed over the point at 15.40cm on Friday morning (9:00am). BWDB officials warned that the water level would rise more by next 24 hours.

Some Sariakandi localities including Chaluabari, Haatsherpur, Kajla, Karnibari, Bahail and others are in the risk of flooding. Severe river erosion is evident along the Jamuna.

Teesta swells in Nilphamari

Water level of the River Teesta increased in Nilphamari. During 6:00am to 3:00pm on Friday, Teesta flpwed at 52.35cm or 25cm below the danger level, at Teesta barrage point in Doani area of Lalmonirhat district.

Chairman of Tepakharibari union parishad under Dimla upazila, Md Moynul Haque, said people remained alert as the Teesta was swelling.

Erosion at Nalitabari

Rice mill worker Khodeja Begum, 55, from Uttar Garkanda village under Nalitabari municipality of Sherpur district, owned 35 decimals of non-crop land. Swelled by downpours in the highland for several years, the River Bhogai eroded most of her land. Now only a mud hut is remaining for her dwelling. On Tuesday, Khodeja shifted her belongings to other place as the swelling Bhogai posed the threat of erosion.

Many families have been affected by river erosion for a couple of years. The victims have already demanded an embankment.

On Tuesday night, 100 metres of the Uttar Garkanda embankment on the bank of Bhogai was damaged by to erosion. Besides, the embankment was affected by erosion at four points, measuring around two kilometre in total, in the upazila.

Nalitabari upazila nirbahi officer Helena Parveen said the concerned authorities were duly requested to construct a permanent embankment for the area.

Kasba villagers left marooned

Water of the River Salda flowed over the danger level at Bayek union under Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria district. Incessant rain and water from upstream submerged at least 10 villages under the upazila, leaving villagers marooned.

[Prothom Alo staff correspondents and correspondents contributed to filing the report]

*This report appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman.