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Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely in many parts of the country, as well as in the upstream, for one week starting tomorrow (Tuesday), and it may aggravate the overall flood situation across Bangladesh. In this situation, the journey of homebound passengers through the waterways on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha would not be comfortable. People will face problems in many areas to celebrate the festival due to floods, experts told The Independent yesterday. - A home for your website

The experts said flood water is taking time to recede due to the adverse outfall condition caused by sedimentation at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal. They, however, observed that the flood condition will prolong this year as there are possibilities of more heavy rainfall in the upstream.

Meanwhile, about 40 lakh people have already been marooned in 21 districts across the country.

According to the Flood Forecasting Warning Centre (FFWC), waters of the Padma, Ganges and other rivers around Dhaka city are rising, although the major rivers are showing the falling trend.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall between July 22 and July 25 over Indian states like Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Haryana, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

“I don’t see any improvement in the flood situation due to the likely heavy srainfall from July 24. This is going to continue until July 31 in the country. Besides, there are possibilities of heavy rainfall in the upstream states of Bangladesh,” Md Shahinul Islam, a meteorologist of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), told this correspondent.

The meteorologist said that the second week of August could witness another spell of heavy rains. Eid-ul-Azha celebrations, likely to be celebrated on August 12, may be hampered in many areas of the country due to heavy showers and flood, he observed.

“The magnitude of the flood was very high in 1988. But this year’s flood is not like 1988. The nature of this year’s flood seems to be prolonged as waters are receding very slowly,” Sabbir Mostafa Khan, professor at the water resources engineering department of Bangladesh University Engineering Technology (BUET), told The Independent.

He said the flood situation in northern and southern regions of the country are likely to be worsened in August.

When asked why the flood water is receding slowly, Prof. Khan said: “It’s the backwater effect due to sedimentation at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal. It is very natural if sea level becomes abnormal.”

He also suggested that preparations be made to tackle a prolonged flood this year.

“The flood is likely to hamper the journey of holidaymakers. The flood water in central parts of the country is making the currents of the rivers very strong,” Saidur Rahman, additional chief engineer (dredging) of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), told this correspondent.

He said the strong currents are disrupting ferry movement from different terminals, including Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Kathalbari.

Waters of all the major rivers are falling, except the Padma and the rivers around Dhaka City, said Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) executive engineer Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan. “The Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Surma rivers are improving, while the Ganges, Padma and Kushiyara rivers may remain steady,” he said in reply to a query.

Bhuiyan also said the flood situation may continue to improve in Tangail, Sirajganj, Bogura, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Sylhet districts, while the situation in Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur and Munshiganj districts may remain unchanged.

Our Kurigram correspondent reports: The overall flood situation in Kurigram district is improving. Some of flood-hit people have started to return along with their cattle from the temporary shelters. Nur Islam (48), a resident of Char Shitayejhar village under Sadar upazila, said: “My family members along with my livestock were in the temporary shelter in Char Shitayejhar Nurani-Hafezia Madrasa due to rising waters of the Dharla river. I am returning home today (Sunday) as the flood water has receded from my house.”

Rubina Begam (20), a housewife of Kishamat Malbhanga village under Sadar upazila, said: “We have come back to our houses today (Sunday) after passing eight days on the embankment of the Dharla river at Kishamat Malbhanga village. My one-year-old son is suffering from a waterborne skin disease.”

Kurigram civil surgeon Dr. Aminul Islam said: “We are giving treatment to flood-hit people for post-flood diseases in every flood centres and flood shelters. But some skin diseases have been found among people who were living in their flood-affected houses. We are giving tablets for purifying water with necessary advice.”

A source in the relief and rehabilitation office (DRRO) said: “In total, 795,600 people of 198,900 families along with 182,019 domestic animals in nine upazilas of the district have been marooned by the flood, while 4,996 people of 1,249 families have lost their dwelling-houses.”

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