Floods claim 64 lives in 11 days countrywide

Northern rivers receding, southern ones swelling

FE Report | Published: July 22, 2019 10:28:01 | Updated: July 22, 2019 14:09:29

A group of flood-hit people eagerly waiting to receive food during a relief distribution programme in Chilmari under Kurigram on Sunday — Focus Bangla photo

Sixty-four people died in the past eleven days because of floods nationwide and thousands are at risk amid a dearth of food and water, official sources said.

Floodwaters in the north continued to recede on Sunday, but the rivers in the central region are rising further.

Even if rivers are receding, the state of 3.5 million marooned people in 21 districts remained unchanged amid waterlogging for river erosion and breaching of dams.

Floodwaters entered Dohar and Nawabganj sub-districts under Dhaka the same day, triggering fears of further flooding in parts of the capital.

Health emergency operation centre and control room under health ministry in its Sunday evening update said 64 people lost lives in flooding-56 by drowning and eight by snakebite.

However, 10 were killed just in 24 hours (July 19 evening to July 20 evening) in Jamalpur, Sherpur, Tangail, Sirajganj and Gaibandha.

Of the victims, five were killed in Jamalpur alone. 

Besides, seven people killed by lightning.

A total of 2,825 people have so far been struck down with diarrhea in the flood-affected districts.

More than 50 people have been bitten by snakes. Of them, eight have died, according to the control room.

Sources spoke of a scarcity of anti-venom vaccine and rescue teams with food and pure water, thus making them more vulnerable to marooned people.

More than 3.5 million people in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Naogaon, Jamalpur, Tangail, Sherpur, Bogura, Faridpur, Shariatpur, Munshiganj, Netrakona, Sunamganj and other districts were facing shortages of essential supplies until Sunday.

However, 13 rivers at 21 points in 17 districts were flowing above danger levels on Sunday, according to the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

FFWC in its evening update said waters of Jamuna, Padma and other rivers adjacent to Dhaka city were rising.

The flood situation in Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur, Shariatpur and Munshiganj might remain static, it added.

Floods in Rangpur, Rajshahi and Sylhet divisions might improve in the next 24 hours, the bulletin updated.

It revealed that water levels of 35 rivers increased and 53 receded on the day under review.

FFWC executive engineer Md Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said the rivers around the capital are in full spate.

If this situation persists for the next few days, he said, the city might witness flooding.

Balu in Demra area was flowing just 50 centimetres below the danger mark and Kaliganga in Manikganj and Keraniganj just 30cm below the level on Sunday.

Our Gaibandha correspondent adds: Six persons have by now died by drowning here-one in Bharatpur union under Shahghata sub-district on Sunday evening.

Thousands of water-locked people are now most vulnerable to drowning, food and sanitary-related diseases amid scarcity of relief and rescue teams.

Local public health complexes have no anti-venom vaccines at all, he said.

Manikganj sources said erosion-hit Daulatpur, Shibalay, Ghior, Harirampur and Shaturia sub-districts inundated 70,000 more people the same day.

Kurigram sources said flood victims' condition worsened in the absence of adequate relief supplies, although Teesta, Brahmaputra and Dharala are receding.

Water-borne diseases are widespread in the district where 0.85 million people are marooned by floods.

Embankments are crammed with people and livestock for a week now almost without food.

The condition of 4,500 people living in 186 flood shelter centres is almost the same, the sources added.

Floods have so far killed 12 there, submerged 19,638 hectares of croplands and destroyed 41 bridges, 40-km embankment and 477-km road, according to the Kurigram deputy commissioner's office.

Data available with disaster management and relief ministry showed only 6,100 tonnes of rice, 21,000 packets of dry food and Tk 7.4 million have been distributed among 3.5 million victims.



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