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Surma and Kushiara swelled up

As torrents pour down in the northern part of the country, the rivers Surma and Kushiara have swelled up and covered vast swathes of land in Moulvibazar and Sylhet since Friday. Around 300,000 people are still stranded in Moulvibazar as the flood water has yet to recede. The water levels of Kushiara River and Hakaluki Haor, Kawadighi Haor and Hail Haor.

Boats are now the only means of travel since most of the roads are submerged. The disruption of road communications has severed road connection to Moulvibazar sadar upazila, stranding about 15-20,000 people.

Moulvibazar Deputy Commissioner Md Tofail Islam said the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief distributed 200 tonnes of rice on Sunday.

Moulvibazar Secondary School Education officer, Abdul Wadud, said: “The schools near the Haors have been immensely damaged.”

A total of 183 schools have been shut down in Moulvibazar – of them, 142 are primary schools and 41 are secondary schools.

The flood situation in Sylhet has worsened. Due to the heavy rainfall in the upstream, the water level of the Surma-Kushiara river system has gone above danger level. Many areas are now under water in Surma upazila.

Sylhet Additional Deputy Commissioner Shahidul Islam Chowdhury said: “The situation has yet to improve. We have distributed another 200 tonnes of rice. On Sunday, we had distributed about 127 tonnes of rice and Tk2.77lakh in cash.”

Shahidul also added that Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, minister of disaster management and relief, and Nurul Islam Nahid, minister of education, were in Sylhet to discuss and distribute relief.

Awami League Organisational Secretary Misbah Uddin Siraj was also distributing relief along with four others representatives have started to give donations to people from affected areas.

Due to severe flooding, about 195 schools have been forced to shut down temporarily. They will reopen once the water recedes.

The rising waters have inundated entire villages, forcing people to move out. Many villagers are taking refuge in the homes of their neighbours and relatives. Although three flood shelters have been opened in Barlekha upazila in Moulvibazar, they are as difficult to get to, hence a small turnout of refugees.

Barlekha UNO SM Abdullah Al Mamun said: “At least the water level did not rise, it is still steady. The biggest problem right now is the disruption in communications. Roads have weakened and caved in due to being flooded for so long.”

Kulaura Upazila Parishad Chairman Md Azizul Rahman said: “70% of the houses in my union are under water, where will my people go?”

In South Surma upazila – the unions of Mirzanagar, Manikpur, Inat Alipur, Rautkandi, Sikandarpur, Panigaon, Rakhalganj, Khalomukh, Bhangi, Jolkorkandi, Porairchok, Molagram, Molabazar and Hajipur – are entirely waterlogged.

According to Water Development Board sources, the water level of the rivers is quite above the danger level – Surma is flowing above 57cm, Kushiara is above 77cm, 93cm and 22cm in three separate locations.

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