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Severe flood strands nearly 2 lakh people in Kurigram

Special Correspondent Flood 2024-07-07, 1:34pm


Severe flood strands nearly 2 lakh people in Kurigram

Kurigram, July 07 - Around two lakh people in the northern district of Kurigram have been stranded as the flood situation has deteriorated with rising water levels in all major rivers.

Local representatives reported that a 100-meter embankment on the Dudhkumar River in Nageshwari upazila has collapsed, inundating 12 villages and affecting an additional 25,000 people.

The total number of flood-hit people in the district is now around two lakh, they said. However, district disaster management official Abdul Hai contended the figure, stating the number is closer to 97,750.

Continuous flooding over the past seven days has forced thousands of residents living near the Brahmaputra River to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. Initially, people placed their livestock on higher ground, but over the last three days, rising waters have submerged these areas, further stranding residents.

To save their lives, many have taken refuge in personal boats, on high roads, in flood shelters, educational institutions, and relatives' homes.

Rafsan Jani, sub-divisional engineer of Water Development Board, reported that the Brahmaputra River was flowing 53 cm above the danger level at Nunkhawa point and 67 cm at Chilmari point. Additionally, the Dharla River was 31 cm above the danger level at Kurigram Bridge point, and the Dudhkumar River was 51 cm above the danger level at Pateshwari point. Rafsan Jani warned that water levels are likely to rise further in the coming days.

During a visit to the flood-hit Guzimari village under Ulipur upazila, UNB district correspondent found Shamsul Alam, who had been taking refuge on a boat with his wife, son, and two grandchildren for the past six days. "We took refuge on the boat to prevent losing household items, rice, lentils, clothes, and valuables. Continuous rain has prevented us from cooking anything. We are facing severe hardships," he lamented.

Kobad Ali, a resident of Char Baguar in Saheber Alga union of the same upazila, said, "No one has come to check on us yet. The stove was ruined by rainwater, and we haven't eaten anything since morning."

Civil Surgeon Dr. Manjur-E-Murshed stated that 83 medical teams are working in the district. However, flood victims reported that no medical teams have been seen in their villages over the past six days.

Abdullah Al Mamun, Deputy Director at the Department of Agricultural Extension in the district, said that 6,660 hectares of cropland, seedbeds, and vegetables are submerged under floodwaters. The extent of damage will be assessed once the water recedes.

District Primary Education Officer Nabej Uddin Sarkar reported that 146 educational institutions have been inundated, leading to the suspension of academic activities. Furthermore, 32 flood-affected families have taken shelter in Begum Nurunnahar Government Primary School in Ulipur upazila, and 35 families in Sabuj Para Government Primary School in Nageshwari upazila.

District Education Officer Shamsul Alam added that a total of 103 educational institutions, including 71 secondary schools, 32 madrasas, and six colleges, have been closed due to the ongoing floods.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Saidul Arif assured that all necessary preparations have been made to deal with the situation. "If any problems arise, we will address them immediately. We are committed to standing by the flood victims collectively. So far, 417 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 21.85 lakh have been allocated for the affected. HSC candidates in the flood-affected areas have been instructed to contact the UNO or district administration if they face any problems," he added.-UNB