Bangladesh: Monsoon Floods - Information Bulletin


The situation

Huge onrush of water from the upstream and monsoon rain freshly flooded northern and north-eastern districts of Bangladesh. Earlier, during the last week of June 2020, BDRCS based on the forecast, has activated its Early Action Protocol (EAP) to support 3,800 households in three districts which have more than 25 per cent of household assets damaged. After showing a slight improvement last week, the flood situation has deteriorated again as major rivers in the country are flowing above the danger level. According to the current forecast, this flood has 50 per cent chances to cross 1 in 10 years on 21 July. Thousands of people in low-lying areas are witnessing the second phase of floods this season due to rise of water levels of major rivers in the country.

Flood situation may further worsen in north-eastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona; northern districts of Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Kurigram, and Gaibandha; north-western district of Natore and north central districts of Bogura and Jamalpur by 13 July 2020. Many of these districts were affected when the first monsoon flood hit on 26 June and the situation there improved after several days. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) mentioned in a briefing that the northern Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Nilphamari and Gaibandha, northwestern Natore, Naogaon, Bogura, Sirajganj and Rajshahi, northcentral Jamalpur and Tangail and central Manikganj districts in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna basin, central districts of Rajbari, Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Munshiganj and southeastern Chandpur in the Ganges-Padma basin and northeastern Netrokona, Sylhet and Sunamganj and central district of Kishoreganj in the Meghna basin may witness a fresh wave of flood.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) bulletin on 12 July 2020, water levels of all major rivers in upper Meghna basin, Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Gages basins are in rising trend till 12 July morning and it may continue in the next 72 hours due to onrush of upstream water coupled with heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Major rivers in the Meghna basin such as Surma River, Jamuna River and Gur River are all reportedly experiencing rising water levels above their danger marks.

The FFWC is predicting that heavy rainfall is likely to occur in the country’s south-eastern hill regions and it may cause rapid rise of water levels in Sangu, Halda Muhuri and Matamuhuri rivers in that region on 13 July 2020.

Of the 101 river gauging stations, the FFWC observed swelling at 66 points within the 24 hours on 11 July 2020.
The FFWC reported that the precipitation level was at 523 millimeters at Cherapunji during the same time and Assam and Meghalaya and West Bengal also received heavy rain. For Bangladesh, the country’s highest rainfall of 252 millimeters in the 24 hours until 9:00 am local time on 11 July 2020 was recorded at Lourergarh in Sunamganj. Extremely heavy rains were observed at many places at Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona and Mymensingh.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department predicted light to moderate rains in most places in Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattoram and Sylhet divisions and in many places in Barishal, Dhaka and Khulna divisions until Sunday morning. Indian Meteorological Department predicted extremely heavy rainfall to continue in places upstream through 12 July. According to Water Development Board, a lot of water was flowing from upstream until 12 July night. The water level at Teesta barrage point in Lalmonirhat rose to 55 centimeters above the danger mark while water at Dharla River at Kulaghat point was flowing above the danger level of 60 centimeters. The Water Development Board mentioned that the water is increasing gradually and issued a red alert in the Teesta basin as the flood situation continued to deteriorate.

Over a million people were marooned in dozens of villages from 10 to 11 July 2020 as roaring rivers swept away embankments in the districts where some of the embankments were already under water since 26 June.
Thousands of people are expected to leave their homes throughout the beginning of this week to seek shelter in higher grounds as the Water Development Board warned that the onrush of water from upstream would further intensify.

As low-lying areas in 23 districts are predicted to experience a month-long fresh flooding in the next week with the rise of water levels in major rivers, the Government of Bangladesh is on standby with all-out measures to face the flood situation. The State Minister of MoDMR said in a briefing that the government has taken all-out preparations to protect the lives and livelihoods of people from the approaching flood as the deluge may continue for prolonged period. Directives have been given to ensure preparedness of shelter centers in 23 districts. The Government of Bangladesh has allocated total 8,210 metric tons of rice, BDT 22,250,000 (approximately CHF 242,235) of cash, 48,000 packets of dry foods, BDT 4,800,000 (approximately CHF 52,258) worth of fodders (animal foods) and BDT 4,800,000 (approximately CHF 52,258) worth of child foods to 23 districts from 28 June to 9 July.

Each district will receive 200 metric tons of rice, BDT 500,000 cash (approximately CHF 5,443), BDT 200,000 (approximately CHF 2,177) worth of child food, BDT 200,000 (approximately CHF 2,177) worth of fodder and 2,000 packets of dry foods to ensure timely distribution and local administrations are available to immediately support the affected people. The State Minister of MoDMR said, more allocation will be provided based on the evolving needs of the affected people. The District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) and Bangladesh Water Development Board offices are continuously coordinating and constantly monitoring the flood situation since June to ensure efficient response during monsoon season.