Dhaka, Bangladesh
Amphan causes flashflood, devastation in coastal areas

Amphan causes flashflood, devastation in coastal areas

Huge economic losses, spread of coronavirus feared

Mazharul Islam Mitchel:


Thousands of houses and crops and


fruits were wrecked by the super-


cyclone “Amphan” that created


flashflood with tidal surge in


coastal belts and ripped through


different districts far inland.





Flooding occurred in Chattogram,


Barishal and Khulna divisions as the


water levels in rivers swelled and


under impact of damaged huge dams


and culverts huge lands have been


flooded.





Locals also fear huge coronavirus


affection due to breaking the social


distance during the flashfloods.





People in the coastal areas have


been facing flashflood since


Wednesday night because of heavy


rain caused by cyclone “Amphan”


inside Bangladesh and upstream in


neighbouring India while all dams


were damaged elsewhere.





Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre


executive engineer Arifuzzaman


Bhuyan said that the super-cyclone


Amphan "dumped large amount of rain


in Bangladesh and in Indian areas in


24 hours, causing the flash floods".





A bulletin issued on Friday


predicted that major rivers in the


southern districts would continue to


rise in the next 24 hours.





A flashflood warning for the first


week of May was already in the


forecast even before the super -


cyclone “Amphan” formed.





'‘Rivers rose rapidly and the


embankments were too weak to


withstand the rising water


pressure,’' he said.





Storm surge has already flooded


dozens of villages, affecting


thousands of people in along the


coast in Patuakhali and Bagerhat


districts after dams collapsed or


were breached at different points.





Water levels of the Pashur, Mongla,


Baleshwar, Bhairab and Panguchhi


rivers were rising and may continue


to rise, Bagerhat Water Development


Board Executive Engineer Nahid-uz-


Zaman Khan warned.





Storm surge of 10-15 feet height


above normal astronomical tide may


hit the coastal districts under the


influence of the storm and the new


moon phase, the Met Office said.





The low-lying areas of the coastal


districts of Chattogram, Noakhali,


Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna,


Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal,


Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat,


Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore


islands and chars are likely to be


inundated, it added.





The major affected districts were


Khulna, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna,


Satkhira, Barishal, Bhola,


Patuakhali and Jhalakati.





In southwestern part, a five-feet-


high storm surge broke embankments


and swamped a large area of


farmland.





Super cyclone ‘Amphan’ has caused a


huge loss of valuables worth Tk 11


billion in the country, the Disaster


Management and Relief Ministry said


in an immediate assessment.





State minister for the ministry


Enamur Rahman revealed the


assessment during a briefing on the


cyclone aftermath at an online press


conference on Thursday evening.





The government has received a


preliminary estimate of about Tk 11


billion loss, he added.





Cyclone Amphan may cause economic


losses worth $1.5 billion, or nearly


Tk12, 744 crore.





The National Disaster Management


Council (NDMC) made the estimate of


possible losses due to the extremely


severe cyclone.





The preliminary estimate took into


account rural infrastructure,


schools, crops, and livestock.





Enamur Rahman said the country never


saw evacuation of such a huge number


of people during any natural


disaster.





“The districts near the Sundarbans—


Satkhira, Bagerhat and Khulna—


affected badly by the cyclone,” the


minister mentioned.





The Ministries of Fisheries and


Livestock, Agriculture and Water


Resources and the Department of


Local Government calculated the


loss.





The cyclone damaged 1,100km of


roads, 200 bridges and culverts and


233 local government offices.





The water broken through embankments


has affected 180,500 hatcheries in


the coastal region. The loss will be


approximately Tk 325 crore.





According to the Ministry of Water


Resources, 150km of embankments have


been affected by the cyclone. The


embankments have either damaged or


completely broken in at least 84


places.





Agriculture minister Dr. Abdur


Razzak said on Thursday evening at


least 2 lakh hector farmland


destroyed in the storm.





Crops affected in the districts due


to flooding were rice, mung beans,


chilis, vegetables, soya bean, maize


and seasame, the agriculture


ministry said in an immediate


bulletin.





However, Boro paddy and other main


crops haven’t been severely damaged


by the cyclone, he said.





A full report on the cyclone impact


in agriculture sector will be


released within 2-3 days after the


collection of information, the


minister also said.





The farmers affected by the cyclone


will get incentives from the


government, the minister said.





The cyclone flattened flimsy houses,


blew off roofs, uprooted trees and


destroyed crops, fruits and other


valuables.





Many low-lying areas of Barishal,


Chattogram and Khulna went under


water due to tidal surges. In some


areas, onrushing water breached


protection embankments.





Barishal Divisional Commissioner


Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury said scores


of low-lying areas in the district


went under three to four-foot-deep


water.





The areas includes Dhal Char, Char


Nijam and Char Kalatali of Bhola;


several villages of Rangabali and


Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali; and


Majhir Char of Pirojpur.





The Meghna, Bhola, Baleshwar,


Bishkhali and Paira rivers were


flowing above the danger mark at


several points in Patuakhali,


Barguna and Bagerhat, said Water


Development Board officials.





“Some areas in Rangabali and


Galachipa upazilas got flooded due


to overflow of rivers,” said Md


Hasanuzzaman, executive engineer at


the WDB Patuakhali Circle.





Different areas in Dacope and Koira


were also flooded as Rupsha,


Shibshar and Pashur rivers were


flowing above the danger level.





Onrushing water overflowed the


protection embankment in Koira Sadar


and Bedkashi areas, said locals many


of whom were seen putting sandbags


on the embankment.





“We don’t think it will work,” said


Harendranath Sarkar, Ward-9 member


of Koira Sadar union.

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