6 July 2009

Flood situation ''likely to worsen''

Flooding in Bangladesh''s northern and north-eastern districts is likely to worsen due to continuing torrential rains in the country and in neighbouring India, said officials on Saturday, reports bdnews24.com. Meteorological departments of both countries forecast more downpours over next 24 hours. Bangladesh''s Flood Forecast and Warning Centre said rainfall in the 24 hours up to 6am on Saturday was recorded at 88mm in Sylhet, 60mm in Lorergarh, 62mm in Noakhali and 57mm in Comilla. The met department said the 24 hours from 6pm on Saturday would see light to moderate rainfall in all six divisions of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal while some places may experience heavy to moderate rainfall. Meanwhile, heavy rains in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura in India over the past few days have already been causing rivers downstream in Bangladesh to swell. The FFWC said flood situation was likely to get more serious. Water levels rose at 40 points of 73 measured in different rivers countrywide, declining at 22 points. The Surma River in Sunamganj was flowing 46cm above the danger mark on Saturday while Kangsha River in the same district was flowing 32cm above the red level, according to the Water Development Board. Water levels continued to rise in Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Padma-Meghna basins, though they were still below the danger mark for the time, said officials. Already flooded Lowlands in Feni, Sunamganj and Kurigram among other places were flooded on Friday, stranding thousands, according to local authorities. In Kurigram, water was rising in 16 rivers that flooded over 25 villages, with some 10,000 people are already marooned, said local officials. The Water Development Board recorded 13cm water rise in the Dhorala, 17cm in the Dudhkumor and 32 cm in the Bramhaputra. In Sunamganj, rivers flooded lowlands in five upazilas, marooning ''thousands'', said local reports. Waters of the Surma was flowing 48cm over the danger mark on Friday noon at Shologhar point and 85mm rainfall was recorded in the previous 24 hours. In Nilphamari, the Teesta, flowing 15cm over the danger level, flooded seven villages in three unions and left 1,500 people stranded. In Feni, eight villages of Phulgazi and Porshuram upazilas were flooded as water of the Muhuri was flowing more than 80cm over the usual mark. In Lalmonirhat, the flood situation in Hatibandha and Kaliganj upazilas worsened. Thousands of acres of land were flooded and 6,000 people were marooned, by local estimates.