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Flood situation worsens in northeast

Heavy monsoon rains and gushing water from cross-border upstream hilly regions have worsened the flood situation in northeastern Bangladesh.

world Updated: Jun 19, 2007 17:24 IST


Heavy monsoon rains and gushing water from cross-border upstream hilly regions worsened the flood situation in northeastern Bangladesh inundating vast tracks of land and snapping road links.

Two major rivers of the region-- the Surma and Kushiara-- were flowing as high as 273 cm and 124 cm above their danger levels at places of greater Sylhet inundating at least 150 villages and forcing thousands of people to take refuge at makeshift shelters like closed schools.

"The people are complaining about severe scarcity of drinking water," a district administration official in Sylhet said.

There are also fears of an outbreak of water-borne diseases in the affected areas, media reports said.

The New Age reported that road communications among different districts and divisional headquarters snapped on Monday as roads in many areas went under knee to waist deep water.

Meanwhile, food ministry officials in Dhaka said the government has decided to import 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice and 1.38 lakh tonnes of wheat to build a sufficient food stock as a buffer against possible contingencies like monsoon flood.

Currently, the government has a buffer stock of five lakh tonnes of food grains as against 8-9 lakh tonnes of stock which is supposed to be maintained as per the food policy, officials said.

Bangladesh is criss-crossed by nearly 230 rivers originating mostly in upstream India, Nepal and China.