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Flood situation worsens in northern districts

DHAKA, Aug 13, 2017 (BSS) - Heavy rainfall and excessive waterflow from the upstream rivers have worsened the flood situation in several northern districts of the country.

A vast tract of land, dwelling houses, and establiushments went under water as Brahmaputra, Ghagot, Dharla and Teesta rivers are following above danger level, said officials of Water Devolopment Board (WDB).

Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram are the mostly affected districts of the region, putting its residents into great misery.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), water levels at 77 river stations across the country have marked rise and 12 stations recorded fall.

Among the 90 monitored river stations, 25 river stations are flowing above danger level, a bulletin of FFWC said here today.

In Gaibandha, water levels in all the major rivers, including Brahmaputra and the Ghagot, have marked rise in the last 24 hours ending at 9 am today due to incessant rain and onrush of hilly water from the upstream. The officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) said the water level in the Brahmaputra rose by 57 cm, the Ghagot 56 cm, the Karatoa 84 cm and the Teesta 50 cm during the period.

Of them, the Brahmaputra was flowing 29 cm above its danger level at Fulchharighat point of the district while the Ghagot was flowing 08 cm over the danger mark at New Bridge Road point.

With the rise of water level, the river basin areas of Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari and Saghata upazilas standing crops have been gone under flood water.

Executive Engineer of WDB, Gaibandha Mahbubur Rahman said, "The Brahmaputra was flowing over its danger mark, officials and employees remain alert to protect 78 km-embankment from erosion."

Deputy Commissioner Goutam Chandra Pal said, "The district administration is ready to distribute relief materials among flood-affected people of the district."

"All the 82 flood shelter centres are kept ready for the flood victims of Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari and Shaghata upazilas of the district," he added.

In Kurigram, about 300 villages at nine upazilas were inundated due to rise in water level in Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers.

Moreover, a portion of flood control embankment was damaged due to strong current inundating local kitchen market within one-minute time.

Upzila district administration though loudspeakers urged local people to take shelter at Government High School as soon as they can.

The water of the Dharla River is flowing 86 cm above danger mark, Brahmaputra 58 cm, Dudhkumar 60 cm and Teesta 55 cm, said officials of WDB.

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan visited the affected areas today.

In Lalmonirhat, about two lakh people of 32 unions of the district's five upazilas -- Patgram, Kaliganj, Hatibandha, Aditmari and Sadar -- have been marooned by floodwaters as both Teesta and Dharla rivers were flowing above the danger level.

The floodwaters also prompted disruption of bus and rail communications of Lalmonirhat with other parts of the country.

Local officials of BWDB said Teesta River was flowing 65 centimetres above the danger mark in the early hours of today.

Many houses, roads and educational institutions have been eroded by the heavy current of Teesta and Dharla rivers.

Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Shafiul Arif said overall flood situation in the district has turned serious, leaving more than two lakh people marooned.

Bus and train connection have declared suspended due to the floods.

District administration allocated 165 tonnes of rice and Taka 4 lakh for distributing among the flood victims, he said.