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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Flood ravages life in 5 north-east districts inc. Sylhet

Staff Reporter

Heavy monsoon downpours swelled rivers across the country worsening the ongoing flood situation in the north-eastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj, parts of Lalmonirhat, Netrakona, Sherpur and Kurigram. At least a million people have been left marooned.

Nine units of the Bangladesh Army started rescue operations in flood-hit Sylhet and Sunamganj districts in the afternoon.

“The troops are working in Sylhet sadar, Gowainghat, Kompaniganj, Sunamganj sadar, Dirai, Chhatak, Doarabazar and Jamalganj upazilas to rescue the waterlogged people from their homes by boat and take them to safe shelter,” said Major General Hamidul Haque, (general officer commanding) of Sylhet Cantonment.

Major General Hamidul Haque said that the power supply in Sylhet Kumargaon power plant was under threat due to rising water level that may force it to shutdown. From noon, the army began construction of a dam with sandbags around the Kumargaon power substation.

Besides, an attempt is being made to dry the water entering the power plant with the help of Sylhet City Corporation’s sucker machine.

Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury said, ”If the Kumargaon substation sinks, power connection to the whole district will be snapped cutting off all communication. So we are trying our best to keep this station running.”

Besides, army members are trying to protect several food warehouses in Sunamganj.

Meanwhile, flight operations at Sylhet MAG Osmani International Airport have been suspended for next three days as the flood waters encroached on the runway.

A total of 367 educational institutes suspended classes as the buildings remained under the water in seven upazilas including the Sylhet sadar, said officials of the district Education Board.
The government is indefinitely postponing the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations under all education boards scheduled to begin from June 19. The news came as a relief for the flood-hit regions.

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) has been closed till June 25 in a decision taken at an emergency syndicate meeting Friday morning.

Sunamganj

Flood situation in Sunamganj went out of hand on Friday as the communication system of the district completely broke down.

Sunamganj municipality mayor Nader Bakht said, “Water has entered almost all the roads and houses in the municipal area. People are seeking refuge in the highlands. The residents of the town have fallen into a terrible disaster.”

Direct communication of five upazilas with the district headquarters has been cut off as all the major roads remained under water.

At the moment there is no drinking water in anyone’s house in Sunamganj. In large swathes power is out, mobile networks are down, and a food crisis, said the locals.

The electricity supply to Sunamganj district and its adjacent areas had to be disconnected to avoid accidents as Chhatak and Sunamganj grid substations went under flood water.

Regretting the temporary inconvenience incurred by people due to the natural disaster, State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid wrote from his verified Facebook account that the electricity supply would be restored as soon as the flood situation improves.

From Thursday, due to inclement weather, boating in various tourist areas including Tanguar Haor in Tahirpur Upazila has been announced suspended till further notice, said Raihan Kabir, Tahirpur Upazila Executive Officer.

Lalmonirhat and Kurigram

Around 10,000 people in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat got waterlogged as the Teesta River swelled due to incessant heavy rains and was flowing 14 cm above the danger level on Friday.

Besides, water was flowing 3 cm above the Dharala river in Kurigram district according to the officials of the Water Development Board (WDB).

Mizanur Rahman, executive engineer of Lalmonirhat WDB, said that the water level of Teesta and Dharla rivers is increasing gradually due to continuous heavy rains and onrush of waters downstream.

“We are trying to control the water pressure by opening all the gates of Teesta Barrage. It is unknown at this time what we will do after leaving the post. However, the water may rise further,” Mizanur informed.

Sherpur

In Sherpur the Bhogai and Chellakhali rivers kept flowing above the danger level, flooding low-lying areas of 40 villages of Nalitabari, Sribordi and Jhinaigati upazilas till Friday afternoon.

WDB engineer Shahjahan said, “Heavy rains in the last two days in Meghalaya and Assam in India have caused flooding of mountain slopes in the bordering rivers. About 30,000 people in the area have been stranded in the floods “

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