40 killed in Bangladesh flood, PM Hasina visits affected areas

The Bangladesh administration on Wednesday announced that at least 40 people have been killed so far in the floods. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also visited the flood-hit areas on Tuesday.

Officials said the flood situation is dire in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, while it remained unchanged in the northeastern districts. The Surma, the main river of Sylhet division, is still flowing over the danger line. The flood water is flooding the suburbs there.

The Surma’s water now flows into the town through various drains. The water has flooded several homes and road communication in several areas has been cut off. Two lakh people are trapped in the flood water in two districts.

A total of 40 people, including three in Rangpur division, 15 in Mymensingh division and 22 in Sylhet division, were killed in the floods from June 16 to June 21.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the flood affected areas of Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona and adjoining areas on Tuesday. Hasina said the people of the country have always had to deal with natural calamities and will continue to do so while emphasising building regional infrastructure.

The prime minister talked about building elevated roads which could be accessible even during floods and disasters. She also said that dredging measures would be taken to maintain the depth of the rivers.

Praising the role of party leaders and workers in helping the people affected by the floods, the prime minister said, "Everyone from the administration has worked at the risk of their lives. In many places, when no one could reach, our leaders got there and sent pictures to me. I would immediately send the picture to the army chief so he can send rescue teams to wherever they can go.”

She thanked the party leaders and workers and said the relief work would have been harder without their help.

According to the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), the Surma was flowing at 1.43 cm above the danger level in Sylhet’s Kanaighat area on Tuesday evening. The water level in Surma was 10 cm in Sylhet, 1.3 cm in Amalshid and 0.35 cm in Sheola.

Sayed Ahmad Chowdhury, a senior meteorologist at the Sylhet Meteorological Office, said the rainfall in Sylhet has come down a lot. After a week of continuous rains and landslides, floods have occurred all over Chhatak in Sunamganj.

Hundreds of acres of boro crops planted on high ground have been submerged in the flood waters. The water level in all the rivers including Surma, Piyain and Chela, continued to rise till Tuesday morning.

All crusher mills in Chhatak town are closed. Cargo loading and unloading on the river has been stopped. Hundreds of workers have been unemployed for a week. 90 percent of the houses in the entire Sunamganj town are still submerged under the water. Traffic is closed on the main roads of Sunamganj and Chhatak municipal areas.

The main roads in isolated areas of Chhatak, Tahirpur, Dowarabazar and Bishwamvarpur upazilas are still flooded. There is no alternative means of transportation to these upazilas except by boat. All educational institutions are closed due to flood water.

In several areas, the rivers were flowing above the danger level.

The flood situation in Sylhet city has been worsening since last Wednesday due to heavy rains. As a result, the residents of the city have fled their homes to stay in other areas.