New areas flooded in northern, central dists as flood lingers

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A man, carrying a bicycle on shoulder, attempts to cross a ditch created by running flood water on a road at village Chinaduli of Islampur in Jamalpur on Saturday. — Focus Bangla photo  

Thousands became freshly stranded in northern and central Bangladesh as floodwater continued to engulf new areas with the country’s major rivers flowing over the danger level.

At least seven breaches were reported as the ongoing late-September flood lingered on until its 18th day on Saturday.

The untimely flood already submerged vast low-lying areas stretched between northern and central Bangladesh causing immense sufferings to farmers.

The chances of the rivers spilling their banks for few more days or at least remaining stable at above-flood level throughout most of the week intensified the fear of losses the flooding may cause to farmers.

‘This is the third time I get my rice field destroyed in the last four months,’ Abdul Gafur, a farmer of Kaunia, Rangpur, told New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat.

Gafur cultivated aman on his 7.5 bighas, but the fear of another round of flood coming to destroy his field looms as the north endured the 4th wave of monsoon flood since late June.

Besides submerging over 2,00,000 hectares of aman rice field and 39,112 hectares of vegetable field, the heavily swollen northern rivers continued to cause severe erosion along their banks.

The rivers devoured 473 houses between Friday and Saturday in the flood-affected northern districts, Water Development Board’s north zone chief Jyoti Prashad Ghosh told New Age.

About 35,000 people became stranded in floodwater after embankments collapsed at seven places in the northern part of Bangladesh since Friday, he said.

As many as 782 of the total 1,360 northern region sandbars have been inundated by floodwater leaving their inhabitants in acute crisis of food and water.

New Age correspondent in Tangail reported that at least 50 villages are completely under water at Arjuna and Gabsara unions in Bhuyanpur, with dozens of families driven out of their homes by the flood.

‘We did not expect this untimely flood, let alone predict that it would stay for weeks,’ said Abu Hanif, Department of Agricultural Extension’s deputy director at Sirajganj.

He said that aman cultivated on 4,896 hectares remained completely submerged in water, affecting 33,000 farmers in nine upazilas in the district.

In Netrokona, 20,204 hectares or over 15 per cent of total aman acreage was under water for a week or more, according to the local office of the DAE, affecting 46,700 farmers.

In Rajbari, most of 6,500 hectares of agricultural land in shoals could not be cultivated because of back-to-back floods.

New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reported that vast areas in the district could not be cultivated because of frequent floods, especially in Louhojong and Sreenagar upazilas.

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre’s daily bulletin showed that seven rivers flowed above their danger levels at 11 points until Saturday afternoon.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department predicted widespread rain across Rangpur, Sylhet and Chattogram division through Sunday under the influence of a low formed over the Bay of Bengal.

India Meteorological Department said that isolated heavy falls occurred in upstream areas such as Gangetic West Bengal on Saturday.

Upstream areas such as Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and Meghalaya are likely to experience heavy falls at places at least until Monday.

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