WFP Bangladesh Weekly Flood Update #12 16 - 22 Sep 2005

Situation Report
Originally published
Summary of the present situation:
The monsoon flood in Bangladesh has not been alarming and remains within the local coping capacity. The Government and relief agencies continue to monitor the situation in close collaboration with stakeholders at the field and central level.

A moderate tremor measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale was felt at different parts of Bangladesh on Sunday 18 September 2005. No damage/casualties have been reported so far. Most of the coastal areas of Bangladesh were inundated on 16/17 September due to heavy tidal surge and 200 fishing boat with over 3000 fishermen are reportedly missing.


As per the Bangladesh Meteorological Department on 22 September, the monsoon is less active over Bangladesh and moderate over North Bay. Light to moderate rain/thunder shower accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at few places over the country. The day temperature may slightly rise.

According to the Bangladesh Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) daily bulletin on 22 September, major rivers (Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma) have continued to fall further at down stream points while the rivers in the Meghna and South Eastern Hill basins have registered a rise and fall. Three, out of 86 monitoring points are flowing at a risky level compared to only 1 point last week.

Flash floods were reported on September 20, 2005 in the districts of Moulvi Bazar and Habiganj due to excessive rainfall. The situation may likely improve within the next 48 hours.

WFP Dhaka Regional office reported a slight rise of major rivers but still flowing below the risky level. Jessore Regional office reported downward river water level. Rangpur Regional Office reported normal flood situation with rivers flowing below the danger level.

Heavy rains from two major low pressures pounded coastal areas of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal since last weekend (16/17 September 2005). An estimated 16 fishermen are suspected to have drowned as well as at least 200 fishing boats with over 3,000 fishermen abroad gone missing. Several hundred people including relatives of the missing fishermen are still waiting on the bank of the sea for their love and dear ones. The Fish Trade Association sent three engine boats on 19 September 2005 to the deep sea in search of the missing fishermen but they have not found them. However, according to another news source, 5,000 fishermen who reported missing have returned to their homes. This tidal surge also inundated low-lying areas of the coastal districts in the Southern part of Bangladesh where thousands of people have been affected and hundreds of shrimp culture projects, embankment and houses went under water.

A moderate tremor measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale was felt at different parts of the country including Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet on Sunday 18 September 2005 and created severe panic among the people. This tremor lasted for 40 seconds and the main epicentre was 389 kilometres away from Chittagong at Myanmar-India border. No significant damage was being reported.

The GoB Action:

The District/Upazila (sub-district) Disaster Management Committees are maintaining a close watch over the situation as well as prioritising and coordinating any Government responses at local level.

The government has distributed about 157.164 MT rice among the flood and riverbank eroded victims in Rajbari, Faridpur, Khulna and Kushtia districts in addition to over Taka 320,000 (US$ 4860.00)

A local NGO based in Khulna of South-Western region has distributed to total of 0.960 MT rice, .048 MT salt and 0.096 MT onion to 48 families and 0.490 MT flour, 0.49 MT Potato, .098 MT Pulse and 0.98 MT Oil to 49 families.

Agencies Preparedness Measures/Actions taken:

The DER Group, as of date, has completed six orientation sessions with 145 participants on the Rapid Initial Report (RIR) and Rapid Emergency Needs Assessment (RENA) forms in different locations around the country. These orientations are designed to familiarize participants from various agencies with the two assessments.

The UN Inter-agency NGO Pre-qualification team is reviewing the proposal submitted by the audit firms who will be responsible for identifying the suitably qualified NGOs for emergency response activities.

Meher Nigar Bhuiyan
Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR) Section

Bangladesh Flood Update of WFP is based on in formation received and gathered from various sources. Information received through international channels is verified in country. During the monsoon period and in other times of a threatening emergency situation WFP publish a weekly update, otherwise the frequency is reduced to a monthly issue for better information sharing, advance preparedness and to support improved coordination of response measures.