Chattogram Division: Flood, rain keep wreaking havoc

Thousands left without access to safe drinking water, power, mobile

People walking through a flooded part of Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway in Chandonaish, Chattogram. Road communication to Cox’s Bazar got snapped yesterday morning.

Floods have brought much of Chattogram division to a standstill, leaving thousands of residents without access to safe water, electricity, and mobile phone networks.

Incessant rain and overflowing rivers submerged vast areas and closed all roads to Cox’ Bazar and Bandarban districts.

The waters will hopefully begin to recede from today because there will be less rain, said Meteorologist Bazlur Rashid of the Met office in Dhaka.

Officials in Cox’s Bazar say almost 3 lakh residents of 60 unions in Cox’s Bazar are affected by the floods. Of those evacuated, 34,000 are sheltering in government allocated centres such as educational institutions and government facilities, according to the administration.

The authorities yesterday used megaphones in neighbourhoods to urge people to evacuate immediately due to risks of landslides.

In the Rohingya refugee camps, 207 families were relocated because of risks of landslides, said the refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner.

Submerged roads to the beach town were closed to traffic yesterday morning.

Floods closed the roads to Bandarban on Sunday and stranded at least 8,000 families while mudslides damaged over 450 houses.

Six upazilas of the district have been without power since Monday night and over 9,500 residents were taken to flood shelters.

People reported that mobile phones were not working in the district.

“Even the first floor of my building has been inundated. All of our belongings got damaged,” said Osman Ali of Keching Ghata area in Bandarban town, who has been at a shelter for the last few days.

The situation in the already-flooded town worsened yesterday as 10.55 inches of rain fell in 24 hours until 6:00pm, said Meteorologist Emdadul Haque.

In Lama upazila, the health complex, the grain silo, and most of the buildings got flooded, said Deputy Commissioner Shah Mujahid Uddin, adding that officials were sending dry food to the people in distress.

In Chattogram, three lakh residents of Chandanaish, Satkania and Lohagara upazilas have been left without electricity since yesterday morning.

Floods have stranded 36,500 families in the district, said Deputy Commissioner Abul Bashar Mohammad Fakhruzzaman.

Zafar Ali Hero, a resident of Dohazari municipality in Chandanaish, said people in his neighbourhood were in a crisis of drinking water and they had way to cook food. “We have been eating dry food since Monday night,” he said.

Ilias Chowdhury, of Amilaish in Satkania upazila, said the hand pumps had gone under water and there were no shops selling bottled water. 

“We desperately need drinking water,” he told The Daily Star on Monday night.

Hundreds of acres of farmland and countless fisheries have been inundated and ruined in Chandanaish, Satkania, and Lohagara upazilas, locals and officials said.

In Rangamati, torrential rains over the last five days submerged large parts of the town and Bilaichari, Bahgaichari, and Barkal upazilas.

About 1,200 of 5,000 families at risk of landslides have been evacuated, officials said.

In Ramu upazila of Cox’s Bazar, two-year-old Samia drowned in her front yard yesterday morning while 55-year-old Kabir Ahmed died of snake bite in his flooded house in Pekua upazila.

In Chattogram, a man drowned yesterday and two others went missing after falling into floodwater.

Educational institutions in Chattogram, Bandarban, Khagrachhari, and Cox’s Bazar will be closed today and tomorrow.

A statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations yesterday said the army was working to assist people amid the floods and landslides in Chattogram and Bandarban.

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