Alert as Teesta Barrage road breaches

Dhaka,  Thu,  24 August 2017
Published : 14 Aug 2017, 00:08:08
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Alert as Teesta Barrage road breaches

Flooding maroons hundreds of thousands in dists, claims eight lives
Eight people were dead and five others went missing on Sunday as the overall flood situation has worsened in the country's northwestern and northeastern regions.

However, according to a TV channel, the death toll rose to 13, report agencies.

The flood bypass road on the Teesta Barrage broke down in Lalmonirhat on Sunday under the impact of gushing floodwater with more than 200,000 (two lakh) people of 30 unions in the district's five upazilas remaining marooned as both the Teesta and Dharla were flowing above the danger level, At least 34 villages were flooded following the breach of the flood bypass road.

Due to opening of 54 gates of the Gajoldoba Barrage in India and onrush of water coupled with heavy rain over the last five days, the flood bypass road breached, said Mustafizer Rahman, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Dalia Division.

Local BWDB office on Sunday morning issued a red alert in the Teesta Barrage area, asking the people living in 63 chars or reclaimed land in the Teesta and Dharala to keep abreast with the latest flood situation, said Mustafizer Rahman.

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

Local officials of BWDB said Dharala River was flowing 108 centimetres above the danger level and Teesta 65 centimetres above its early Sunday.

Meanwhile, 18 villages went under water as Itpota dam, Shiberkhuti and Khatamari dams in Moghalhat area in Sadar upazila broke down due to the strong current in the river. The Patgram town protection embankment also collapsed.

The worst-affected areas are Dahagram of Patgram upazila, Dauabari, Patikapara, Sindurna, Saniajan of Hatibandha upazila, Bhotmari, Tushbhander of Kaliganj upazila, Mohishkhocha, Durgapur of Aditmari upazila, Rajpur, Gokunda Khuniagach, Borobari, Kulaghat and Mogolhat under Sadar upazila.

Houses, roads and educational institutions have been eroded by the strong current of the Teesta and Dharla rivers.

Regarding measures taken to prevent erosion, BWDB Lalmonirhat Deputy Assistant Engineer Kamrul Islam said, "We have started dumping GO bags (sandbags) to prevent erosion at the vulnerable points of the barrage."

District Education Officer Nobez Uddin said a total of 168 educational institutions in the district were declared closed.

Several thousand farmers have to face heavy losses as more than 300 ponds were washed away by flash floods, said Rezaul Karim, district fisheries officer.

Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Shafiul Arif said the overall flood situation in the district turned serious, leaving more than 200,000 people marooned. Bus and train services have been suspended due to the floods.

On last Sunday, about 1,600 packets of dry foods were distributed among the flood-affected people, he added.

The flood situation deteriorated in Rangpur following heavy rain coupled with onrush of water from upstream areas in 24 hours till 9:00 am on Sunday marooning about 500,000 people in the Brahmaputra basin.

The Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Dharla, Ghaghot, Jamuneswari, Punorvoba, Upper Atrai and Tangon rivers were flowing above their respective danger marks at 13 points in Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Bogra and Sirajganj.

According to the Water Development Board (WDB) sources, deterioration of flooding might continue further during the next 72 hours as onrush of upstream water still continued.

 "We have started dumping sand- and geo-textile bags at four vulnerable points of the flood control embankments under four unions of Gangachara upazila," said BWDB's Executive Engineer for Rangpur Mahbubur Rahman.

Rail communications from Burimari Land Port under Patgram upazila to Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat and other parts of the country remained snapped as floodwater started flowing over the rail lines in the morning.

District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer of Rangpur Faridul Haque said 22,526 families of 92 villages under 21 unions of Gangachara, Pirgachha, Kawnia and Badarganj upazilas were marooned in the district.

 The Department of Agriculture Extension sources said Aman seedbeds on 705 hectares, Transplanted T-Aman on 129,000 hectares and vegetables on 2,996 hectares of land were already submerged in all five districts under Rangpur Agriculture Zone alone.

In Netrakona, the water of the Someshwari River has been flowing 150 centimetres above the danger mark due to the incessant rain for the last couple of days leaving more than 30 villages in Durgapur upazila inundated.
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