According to officials present at the meeting, deputy commissioners informed the participants that officials of upazila parishad and union parishad had already held flood response meeting.

The DCs said available public offices are being prepared as flood shelter centres.

Disaster response officials had been instructed to arrange adequate food to ensure feeding at the shelters.

All the speedboats and trawlers of district administration are kept ready for emergency response.

State minister for relief and disaster management Enamur Rahman and the ministry secretary Md Mohsin attended the meeting.

They gave instructions to the DCs so that the shelters are prepared to help the dwellers maintain social distance and health guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the district administrations were instructed to remain alert so that Covid-19 infection does not spread in the flood-affected areas.

The ministry also instructed the DCs to take steps so that flood-affected families do not take shelter on any embankment.

While enquired, secretary Md Mohsin told Prothom Alo, “Floods of this year pose no severe threat like the previous year. Whatever the level of flooding around the floodplains would be, floodwater may submerge the nine districts in the next few days. We have taken some decisions in this regard.”

Vulnerability of Kurigram was discussed with importance during the meeting.

Kurigram deputy commissioner Md Rezaul Karim said nine upazilas in the district are prone to be flooded this year. In the previous flood last year, around two million people were affected. Most of them took shelter on embankment.

The district administration opened 130 public establishments as shelter where around 200,000 people were accommodated. The remaining others found shelter on embankment.

This year, the district administration has planned to open 361 shelter centres.

While enquired, Kurigram DC Md Rezaul Karim told Prothom Alo, “We will try to prevent people from taking shelter on embankment. Usually flood-affected people choose the nearby road and embankment for their shelter. We are taking necessary preparations so that it does not repeat.”

Sources at the flood forecasting and warning centre said water of flashflood receded from most of the affected areas yesterday, Monday. On the other hand, the Brahmaputra, Teesta and Dharla rivers were swelling. In next couple of days, water of the rivers would flow over the danger level.

Water level of 60 among 101 rivers increased due to downpours on the highlands in India as well as increasing rainfalls over Bangladesh. According to forecast, floodplains of at least 25 northern districts would be flooded for 20-25 days in this monsoon.

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