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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Risk of severe flooding feared

Staff Correspondent: Before the flood in Sylhet region is over, there is fear of heavy flood again across the country. Due to climate change and global warming, and monsoon activity during the normal monsoon period, the flood situation in the country could turn ‘catastrophic’ due to heavy rains.
Flood forecasters have reported the risk of major floods, especially in the northern regions of the country (Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari), north central regions (Tangail, Manikganj and Jamalpur along the Jamuna River) and northwestern regions (Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj and Pabna districts),warning center officials and water experts said.
They say there are several climatic cycles. Such as El Niño cycle and La Niño cycle. The El Niño phase is the dry season when there is less rain than normal and less flooding and higher temperatures. In addition, the waters around the Pacific equator tend to warm.
At this time the eastern trade winds weakened. And during the La Nina cycle, there is more rain and flooding. The easterly trade winds begin to strengthen. Rain is associated with the ‘Maiden Julian Oscillation’ (tropical weather fluctuations). At present it is in a weak state. It will be activated in July. It will then be over the Indian Ocean. It will create heavy clouds and water vapor in the Bay of Bengal. Then the wind brought the whole cloud towards Bangladesh. Then heavy rain will start again in Meghalaya and Assam. At this time, the rainfall may increase and cause flooding. However, how long these floods will last will depend on how heavy the rain is, how heavy it is, and how long it will last. Again, even if the water of Padma-Brahmaputra rises together, there may be a big flood.
Researchers say that every time there is a flood in the country, there is massive damage to roads, buildings and crops, starting from the death of people. Millions of taka are lost every year. Millions of people in flood-affected areas live a life of inhumanity without their homes. It has also been seen in Sylhet. In this situation, they expressed doubts about the extent of preparation if there is another flood.
Therefore, which region is suffering more flood, some region is getting less, according to this, a well-planned plan should be made in advance by the river expert. And since the major cause of floods in the country is the low water capacity of the rivers. That’s why as soon as the water of India comes, it floods all around. In various ways, the rivers have lost their original form and are becoming navigable. Heavy rains during the monsoon season cause the low-lying areas to flood due to reduced water flow. Therefore, they also feel that it is becoming necessary to adopt and implement plans to build dams and re-drench the flooded rivers for flood control.
Sardar Uday Raihan, Executive Engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Center of Bangladesh Water Development Board said in light of time, there is a risk of more and heavier rains in July next month than usual. As a result, the water may rise and go beyond the danger zone and we are expecting major flooding in the first week of July. At that time, the water level of the main rivers of the country may rise and may go beyond the danger level in some areas. Flooding occurs every year during the normal monsoon season. However, the weather forecast so far shows a low risk of severe flooding.
He said, if the channels or water inlets of the normal areas are blocked, the ability to carry or retain water is disrupted. As now is the monsoon season. It is raining in many places. It may reach highs in July. Rainfall can be high during monsoon. So, it can be said that there is a risk of monsoon floods. There is a danger of flooding especially in the northern part of the country.
Sardar Uday Raihan said about flood advance preparation, we take various types of preparations starting from early warning to deal with flood. As soon as we get the information, we alert the national level and field level offices. Dam maintenance is monitored continuously and repair work is carried out on an urgent basis. In coordination with the district administration and the Ministry of Disaster Management, the affected people are assisted for rehabilitation.
In this regard, the sub-divisional engineer of BWDB, Sajal Kumar Roy, said in light of the time, several areas including Sylhet Sunamganj in the north-eastern region have experienced a flood due to heavy rainfall in a short period of time. But now as the monsoon season or the effect of monsoon is going on, now the water of the rivers in 5 stations of the country is flowing above the danger level. It usually rains all the time during this time. However, the flood situation depends on the region where the rain will fall and how heavy the rain will be and how long it will last. It is not the case that there will be flood if it rains again.
Flooding is usually multi-factorial and has many causes. For example, floods occur only when there is continuous heavy rain over the same area. Apart from this, river water usually flows from upstream to downstream. It will come down even if it rains and it will come down even if it doesn’t. Now that the monsoon is active, it will rain continuously. The flood situation depends on how much will happen in which region. The Department of Meteorology can speak well in this regard. It is not possible to say at the moment whether this flood will be long-term or short-term.
Prof. AKM Saiful Islam ofBangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) Water and Flood Management Institute told that floods can occur due to the effects of monsoon climate, sudden hill slides, drainage system and storm-induced tides in coastal areas.
He said that due to global warming, the weather-climate or rain pattern has changed. If there is a drought, severe drought and if it rains, nature reacts with extreme rain. And now when it rains, it rains much deeper. Haors and rivers play an important role in retaining and transporting storm water from upstream. But with continuous unplanned development, rivers and banks are getting encroached and filled. The navigability of the river, construction of unplanned dams, land filling and east-west cross highways are the main obstacles in the flow of water. As a result, heavy rains cause extreme flooding. So, we have to plan for the long term due to new types of floods. In addition to dredging the river, provision should be made for the conservation of wetlands. Integrated and long-term planning should be done to build dams otherwise there will be floods every year.
On the other hand, flood management is possible through planned development. Dr. EmeritusAinun Nishat, an expert in water resource management and climate change, also thinks that people’s suffering will be reduced.
He says in the light of time, nature is changing. We must understand nature. Residents of Sylhet and Sunamganj have been hit by floods due to heavy rains in Bangladesh’s Sylhet division and heavy rains in India’s Meghalaya and Assam. Apart from this there is no city defense dam in Sylhet and Sunamganj. As a result, it is not unusual for floods to occur three to four times a year and every year. If there were effective dams, people would not have been affected by floods. And in most areas of the country, dams are built with soil, so in many cases, they do not last.
He said the country could face floods anytime from June to September – if there is heavy rain in upstream and Meghalaya. And then the upstream water will come down. The rain that falls in our rainy country will run into rivers. Localities will be flooded as water exceeds capacity. But the flood of Sylhet and the flood of Gaibandha will never be the same. The water in Sylhet is going down fast. But the water of Gaibandha or Bogra will not come down easily. Especially in Meghalaya, upstream of us, a single day heavy rain event creates flood situations. Because our north-eastern river system cannot transport huge amount of water in such a short period of time.
Dr. Ainun Nishat said, I am not in favor of giving relief, food, rice, dal and khichuri to deal with floods. Dredging the river alone to get rid of floods will not do much good. For this, a dam has to be constructed upstream.

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