Bangladesh flood 2007 sitrep no. 5


- Landslides death toll rose to 118 as rescuers pulled 3 more bodies from rubble today

- Many more bodies are fear trapped under tonnes of mud

- Two women were buried alive in a separate landslide in Bandarban Tuesday

- The Prevailing flash flood situation in the North-Eastern part of the country is likely to start improving

- At least 50 villages under Chouddogram Upazila of Comilla become flooded due to embankment failure

- At least 23 Unions of 4 Upazilas of Netrakona and 3 Unions of Sherpur Sadar become flooded

- Some rivers are swollen beyond danger levels, including the Khowai in northeastern Habiganj where bank erosion made hundreds homeless.

Death toll rises to 118 in Chitagong Landslides

Situation Summary:

According to official information rescue workers Wednesday pulled 3 more bodies from rubble, taking the landslide death count to 118 in the port city of Chittagong.

Local and Fire Service and Civil Defence as well feared that more bodies were trapped under tonnes of mud after Monday's landslides, triggered by torrents of rain. The rescue operations are still on. Deputy commissioner Shamim Ashraf told media that rescuers recovered three more bodies overnight. Needful, the rescuers pulled 29 dead bodies Tuesday.

All the six spots the rescue workers were seen using traditional equipment to pull the dead bodies trapped under 8-9 feet high mud. Water spray was also applied to shift the mud from the areas.

According to sources, the severely affected spots are Lebu Bagan (near cantonment), Chittagong University, Sekendarpara, Bayezid Bostami, Kusumbag/Lalkhanbazar, Pahartali and Kumira.

Landslides not took its toll only to the lives. It also affected the hill side housing units. It is to be noted most of the damaged houses are mud walls with tin roofs while a few with thatched roofs.

Landslide in Bandarban: Two women were buried alive in a separate landslide in Bandarban hill district, southeast of Chittagong, on Tuesday.

Current Needs:

According to the joint assessment by WFP and UNICEF:

- Short-term needs are food, medical services, clothing, house supplies like drinking water, candles, match boxes, utensils, beddings etc.

- Medium-term requirements are makeshift shelter, shelter repair, drinking water and sanitation facilities, and books for the students etc. l

Humanitarian Response to landslides:

According to WFP and UNICEF joint assessment report regarding GoB intervention;

- The civil surgeon office has formed nine medical teams and one mobile team and they have stocks available for different medicines.

- City Corporation has opened three emergency camps at Bayezid Bostami, Chandga and Tulatali High School, where 150, 300 and 400 people respectively have taken temporary shelter. However, most of them are returning back as the stagnant water is receding. City corporation distributed 82 mds flatten rice, 50 mds molasses, 600 match boxes and 1000 pieces of candle among the affected people. Two mobile medical teams are also working under the city corporation.

- One temporary camp has been opened at Cantonment Jahangir line High School ground, where cooked food (khituri) is being distributed among the affected people by the army. In addition to that Red Crescent has distributed 132 breads and 10 tins (20 kg) biscuits. DC office distributed flattens rice and molasses among the sheltered people.

Other than Action Aid, IFRC/BDRCS some other humanitarian agencies got involved in the response and they are;

- CARE Bangladesh has distributed dry foods among 450 affected families yesterday. From this morning they started distributing survival packages. A total 2150 survival kits will be distributed. Besides, two water purification plants that installed in the sites started providing waters among the people.

- Islamic Relief has distributed small survival kits among 500 households and doing assessment to identify the further needs.

- A local NGO named ISDE Bangladesh from its limited resources, distributed small amount of dry food, drinking water to the families in the affected areas. They are also involved in rescue operation.

- At Kumira, two numbers of gruel-kitchen have been opened for the victims that are operated by the local UP Chairman.

- Beside these, there are some other NGOs are active in this disaster and they are Water Aid, PSTC, YPSA etc l

Floods engulf fresh areas

According to today's FFWC bulletin, monsoon remains active over the Southern part of the country. The Prevailing flash flood situation in the North-Eastern part of the country is likely to start improving as monsoon activity decreases over the region in and out side of the country. Out of 62 monitoring stations, 34 stations recorded rise, 24 stations observed fall, 1 station remained steady and 3 stations not reported. The little Jamuna at Naogaon, the Manu at Moulvibazar & Manu Railway Bridge, the Gumti at Comilla are flowing above danger level. The Khowai (that was flowing above danger level until yesterday) recorded fall by 90 cm at Habiganj. The Bhugai at Nakuagaon registered fall by 87 cm. The Someswari (was also flowing above the danger mark) at Durgapur marked fall by 40 cm. The Gumti recorded further rise by 36 cm at Comilla and still is flowing above danger level by 48 cm at Comilla this morning.

District wise situations:

Comilla: At least 60 thousand villagers of 3 Unions Under Chouddogram Upazila in Comilla district become stranded within a short span of time by flash flood as the flood control embankment of Kakari River at Krishnapur of Mianbazar and 3 other places have breached out yesterday. Local administration and Army personnel rushed to the spots and evacuated most affected people. Three medical teams are working there. On the other hand the vast areas (2 Union) of Burichang Upazila of Comilla has been flooded by the on rush of rain water from hilly Tripura. At least 10 thousand people are marooned there.

Cox'sbazar: At least 60 villages under Pekua and Chokoria Upazila of Cox'sbazar gone under water and around 2 lacs people become stranded. Road communication between Chokoria-Moheshkhali, Baniarchara-Pekua-Kutubdia have been snapped. Matamuhuri at Chiringa point is flowing above the danger mark.

Netrakona and Sherpur: Quoting Upazila administrations our member POPI informed us that 20 thousand household of 4 Upazilas of Netrakona have become stranded by flash floods. The flood affected Upazilas are Durgapur (5 Union/43 village), Kalmakanda (6Union/45village), Barhatta (5Union/15village), Mohonganj (7Union/22village). Flash flood also gripped 3 Unions of Sherpur Sadar Upazila of Sherpur District.

Kurigram, Rangpur, Nilphamari: Our member RDRS informed that the major rivers (ie., Teesta, Brahmaputra, Dharla etc) in its working area in Northwest Bangladesh are still flowing below the danger level. The situation in the RDRS working area is not yet critical. RDRS is, therefore not planning any emergency intervention in its working area at the moment. However, distribution of relief items from ready stock in the neighboring Bogra District is being considered.

A total six schools were devoured to water due to riverbank erosion in the Chilmari and Rajibpur Upazila under Kurigram district.

Sunamganj and Hobiganj: FIVDB informs, Tahirpur Upazila of Sunamgonj remain disconnected from the district headquarter. In Hobiganj, hundreds of people have taken shelter on the embankment.

Response plan: CARE identified several pockets of Sherpur, Sirajganj and Jamalpur to intervene with 2180 survival packages.

Information sources:

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC)
Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD)
Member Organization-CARE Bangladesh, Codec, POPI, RDRS, FIVDB
Non-member Local NGOs
Media reports