Netrokona becomes the third worst district after Sylhet and Sunamganj to be hit by floods in the Haor or marshland region.
At least six out of 10 Upazilas of the district went under water with the rivers in the region flowing above the danger level on Saturday. The deluge left at least 200,000 people stranded in the affected areas of the district, according to the local authorities.
The situation started to get out of control with parts of Kalmakanda, Durgapur and Barhatta Upazilas flooded early on Friday. The flooding snapped road networks in some areas, reports bdnes24.com.
Floods affected Sadar, Mohongonj and Khaliajuri Upazilas as rains and runoffs from the upstream in India continued.
Fire service divers pulled out the body of a man from floodwater on Saturday after he went missing on Friday.
The Someshwari and the Kangsa rivers flowed more than 100 centimetres above the danger level on Saturday morning, according to ML Saikat, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board in Netrokona. The rivers were expected to well further.
Railway tracks from Netrokona to Mohongonj went under water and a bridge collapsed, snapping train links to and from Mohongonj.
Residents of Durgapur and Kalmakandi, mostly inhabited by people from the Garo tribe, said they were facing a shortage of food for themselves and their cattle.
They said some areas did not get help from the government, local authorities, public representatives or non-government organisations.
“No one has inquired about us until now. Not a member, chairman [of union council] or an MP. There is no use in speaking to the people in the local administration. They haven’t come either,” said septuagenarian Ayen Uddin, who left his home in Bahadurkanda village of Kalmakanda due to the floods.
Many families moved their cattle to relative safety on the Netrokona-Kalmakanda road. Most of the schools in the area have been submerged, leaving no place for the people to take shelter.
Jamir Uddin, 50, set up a makeshift room with polyethene sheets and bamboos for his cattle on the road. “It worries me more what I will feed my cattle,” he said, seeking help from the local administration.
Netrokona Deputy Commissioner Anjana Khan Mojlish said the district administration opened 188 shelters for the affected people. More than 16,000 people took shelter in the centres until Friday night. The floods damaged crops of 473 hectares of paddy and vegetable fields.
The authorities sent 68 tonnes of rice, Tk 250,000 cash and 2,000 packets of dry food to the affected areas, according to Anjana.
She said dry food and drinking water have been arranged in the shelters and the authorities will start distributing cooked food later.
A 27-year-old man, Akkas Ali, gathered some people on Friday and started for a relative’s house upon hearing that the relatives were badly affected by the flood.
He went missing in flash floods on the way. Rescuers failed to find him on Friday. On Saturday, divers from the Fire Service and Civil Defence in Kishoreganj found him dead, said Shibirul Islam, chief of Durgapur Police Station.
In Sylhet and Sunamganj, more than 3.5 million people have been stranded due to the floods that caused power outages in most of the affected areas and snapped road networks. Train services to Sylhet have been suspended, while MAG Osmani International Airport has been closed.