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Monsoon rains may trigger flood

DHAKA, June 19, 2017 (BSS) - A strong monsoon set in during the second week of this month that may trigger floods in low-lying areas of the country, experts said.

"The country has been witnessing a powerful monsoon from June 12.... Under the influence of monsoon, heavy rainfall occurs in different parts of the country," Arif Hossain, a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), told BSS.

"This trend of heavy rainfall is likely to continue during the next few days. We are predicting relatively less rainfall from June 24 to 26 but it will increase at the end of this month," he added.

Sarder Udoy Raihan, an official of Flood Forecasting and warning Centre (FFWC), said, "As major rivers are in rising trend, low-lying areas might be flooded this week."

Among the 90 river stations, he said, 66 have been registered rises while only 11 stations recorded falls meaning a massive flood may hit the country any time.

Sardar said, "From mid June, most river systems including the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, the Ganges-Padma and the Surma-Kushiyara rivers are in rising trend due to influence of monsoon."

This rising trend of the river systems is giving a warning of flooding, he added.

Among the 90 monitored water level stations, five river stations have been registered steady and six river stations were registered flowing above danger level, a bulletin issued by FFWC said here today.

According to the FFWC, the Surma at Kanaighat and Sunamganj, the Kushiyara at Sheola and at Sherpur-Sylhet, the Sarigowain at Sarighat and the Khowai at Habiganj are flowing above its danger levels by 55 cm, 3cm, 7cm, 36cm, 48cm, and 10 cm respectively.

Significant rainfall was recorded in some stations in different districts during the last 24 hours ending at 6 am today.

A total of 159.5 mm rainfall were recorded at Teknaf, 150mm at Habiganj, 115mm at Moulvibazar, 102mm at Sherpur-Sylhet, 100.7 mm at Dinajpur, 100mm at Manu Rly Br, 90mm at Dewanganj, 77mm at Sylhet, 74mm at Nakuagaon, 74mm at Bandarban, 72mm at Mymensingh, 59mm at Gaibandha, 58mm at Bhairab Bazar, 57mm at Tangail, 55mm at Narayanghat and 55mm at Rangamati.

Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), a leading expert agency on water resources, recently revealed a report fearing three major rivers to grasp over 3,222 hectares of land by the end of the current 2017.

"The three major rivers (the Jamuna, Ganges and Padma) in total may cause erosion of 3,222 hectares of land (in 2017)," the report added.

The CEGIS report said that a total 1,205 hectares of land are vulnerable in the areas of Jamuna river, 386 hectares under the Ganges and 1,631 hectares likely to be devastated by the Padma river.

In addition to this, a large number of areas of settlement, embankment, district road, upazila road and rural road, educational Institutes, Hat- Bazar, Govt offices, Non-govt office, health centre, mosque and mandir are under the risk of devastation due to river erosion, the report detailed.

Deputy Executive Director of CEGIS Dr Maminul Haque Sarker said CEGIS made the forecast by using satellite images and GIS technology as well as history of erosion along rivers.

"Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to flood as its most parts are flooded every year. Erratic behavior of rainfall, complex river morphology and geographic location have increased the vulnerability of flooding," he added.

"We should develop a flood prediction system to avert devastating consequence of flood. A short spell of rainfall may trigger a massive flood. If this monsoon continues, the country may witness flood at the end of this month," he added.