Floods stalk the northern regions of Bangladesh

Thousands of people have been suffering as their houses and farmlands have gone under water, with many taking shelter on roads and embankments.


Standing ankle-deep in flood water, a woman cooks in Kalmati area of Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila yesterday. Flood hit the area Monday afternoon after the water level in the Teesta rose due to onrush of water from upstream in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district. Photo: Star

August 3, 2022

DHAKA – Vast swathes of the country’s northern region have been inundated again due to an onrush of water from the upstream over the past two days.

This is the third spell of floods the northerners are facing this year. The region was hit with two floods in June, with a week-long gap in between, locals said.

Thousands of people have been suffering as their houses and farmlands have gone under water. Many took shelter on roads, embankments and other high lands.

District administration officials said they have been working to provide relief to the flood-hit people.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) in a bulletin said, “The major rivers in the northern region are seeing a rising trend.

“The rise in water levels of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma may continue for the next 72 hours,” the bulletin, released at 9:00am yesterday, said.

In Kurigram Ulipur upazila, a farm labourer drowned to death in the waters flowing from the Teesta in Lal Masjid area. He was indentified as Mahbubur Rahman, 55.

Locals said he died due to strong currents in a Teestra tributary while swimming back home from work.

Later, locals recovered the body, said Imtiaz Kabi, officer-in-charge of Ulipur Police Station.

Meanwhile, the homes of around 20,000 families of five upazilas in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram have gone under water.

Mizanur Rahman, executive engineer of the district Water Development Board, said the Teesta was flowing 15cm above the danger level yesterday morning at the Teesta-Barrage point in Lalmonirhat’s Hatibandha upazila.

Nazrul Islam, 58, of Lalmonirhat’s Patgram upazila, said, “I planted Aman paddy on around six bighas of land. All of them have gone under water. The crops will all be ruined if the water stays over five days.”

Another flood-hit villager Abed Ali, 65, of Kurigram’s Rajarhat upazila, said, “The flood waters gushed into my home this [yesterday] morning. Me and my family have now taken shelter on a nearby road.”

In Dinajpur, several villages in Lazmitari union of Gangachara Upazila have also been flooded.

Around 1,000 families in Sankardah and Bagerhat villages have been stranded in the flood.

WDB officials said the Teesta’s water was flowing 17cm above the danger level there.

Abdullah Al Hadi, chairman of Laxmitari, said the Teesta started rising on Monday night, inundating a large portion the area.

In Nilphamari, some 30,000 people of 15 shoal areas in Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas have been affected by the flood.

“The new flood hit our village early yesterday. Around 100 families, including mine, rushed out of home and took shelter on a road,” said Mottaleb Mollah, 65, a resident of Pashchim Kharibari area in Dimla upazila.

(Our correspondents from Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Nilphamari contributed to the report.)

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