Worst Flooding in Many years Submerges Northeastern Bangladesh  

Days of heavy rain in the beginning of monsoon season have triggered widespread flooding in northeastern Bangladesh, leaving tens of millions stranded and huge areas inundated, officers mentioned Friday.

Major rivers within the two northeastern districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj have swollen to dangerously excessive ranges due to heavy downpours, in response to knowledge from the nation’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Center.

The entire area is going through energy outages, and virtually all colleges have been transformed to makeshift flood shelters. State officers mentioned flights at Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, the area’s solely airport, had been suspended due to floodwater approaching the runway.

The authorities has deployed members of the armed forces throughout the area to hurry up flood rescue and reduction efforts, whereas training officers indefinitely suspended the nation’s largest secondary faculty examination, which was slated for Sunday.

The deluge has come on the heels of a pre-monsoon flood that ravaged the identical northeastern area only a month in the past, submerging 70% of Sylhet and 60% of neighboring Sunamganj, leaving at the least 10 individuals lifeless and greater than 2 million stranded.

People taking refuge inside a makeshift flood center set up in a school in the Chalibandar area of Bangladesh's Sylhet district. (Md Serajul Islam/VOA)

People taking refuge inside a makeshift flood heart arrange in a faculty within the Chalibandar space of Bangladesh’s Sylhet district. (Md Serajul Islam/VOA)

Records surpassed

Jahangir Hossain, deputy commissioner of Sunamganj district, instructed VOA the most recent flooding had submerged a big a part of the Sylhet-Sunamganj freeway, thwarting reduction and rescue operations.

“The severity of the flood in my district has surpassed all the past records,” he mentioned. “Sunamganj is virtually lower off from the remainder of the nation.”

According to the flood warning heart, water within the Sunamganj area’s foremost Surma River was flowing 120 centimeters above the hazard mark on Friday.

Sirajul Islam, who heads a commerce affiliation within the regional capital of Sunamganj city, known as the floods the worst he’d seen in 20 years.

“We have to shut down all of our stores as floodwater has entered there. Besides, there is no electricity. The mobile network is also not working,” Islam instructed VOA, including that store closures exacerbated the issue of shelling out fundamental items and drugs.

In Sylhet, the Surma River was flowing 70 centimeters above the hazard stage on Friday, in response to the flood warning heart.

A big a part of Sylhet metropolis, an administrative seat, was inundated, with at the least 10 neighborhoods coated with knee-deep water.

Sylhet metropolis resident Pradip Chandra Das, 47, mentioned floodwater had been getting into his home since Thursday morning.

“At one point it became waist-deep and all of our household things, including furniture, fridge, got submerged and destroyed,” mentioned Das. “We left the home and moved to my relative’s home at Haldarpara.”

Sylhet Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Mojibur Rahman instructed VOA that Companyganj and Gowainghat with the 2 hardest-hit subdistricts of Sylhet.

“Those two areas got detached with other parts of the country because of floodwater,” he said. “Armies are deployed there to airlift or ferry relief material through boats. We are trying everything from our administration to help the flood-affected people.”

Members of Bangladesh's armed forces work to create a temporary embankment to protect a power station in Sylhet district so that floodwater cannot enter into it. (Md Serajul Islam/VOA) Photos credit: Md Serajul Islam

Members of Bangladesh’s armed forces work to create a brief embankment to guard an influence station in Sylhet district in order that floodwater can not enter into it. (Md Serajul Islam/VOA) Photos credit score: Md Serajul Islam

Possible causes

Flood heart chief engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyah mentioned that though some flooding is regular on the outset of monsoon season in Bangladesh, this 12 months is completely different.

“This year, the situation is more severe as there was a massive and unprecedented pre-monsoon flood just a month ago, and it had taken place in the same northeast region, so people were already affected there,” he mentioned.

Bhuiyah mentioned 2,500 millimeters — 2.5 meters or 8.2 ft — of rain had been recorded within the upstream Indian area of Assam and Meghalaya during the last three days alone.

“This is the highest amount of rain recorded in that region in the last 122 years,” he mentioned. “The runoff water from that heavy rain flowed down the Himalayan hills to Bangladesh’s northeastern plains and triggered this flood.”

Bhuiyah estimated that just about 80% of the northeastern area was below floodwater.

“The weather forecast says the heavy rain will continue for the next 72 hours, which means the situation will only get worsened,” he added.

Md Serajul Islam and Mohammad Mohsin contributed to this report from Sylhet and Sunamganj districts.

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