Bangladesh – Tens of Thousands Hit by Floods in North

Flooding has affected tens of thousands of people in northern Bangladesh after days of heavy rain.

Among the worst hit areas is Rangpur district in Rangpur Division, where a record 433mm of rain fell in just 12 hours between 26 and 27 September 2020.

According to local media, around 100,000 residents have been left marooned by floods in Rangpur district and in particular in Rangpur city after drainage systems were overwhelmed. Roads have been swamped with flood water up to 1 metre deep in some areas, causing traffic chaos.

Parts of Nilphamari and Thakurgaon districts in Rangpur Division were also affected by heavy rainfall from 26 September, with around 20,000 people reported marooned and hundreds of buildings damaged.

The heavy rain in northern Bangladesh and river catchments in India began a few days earlier. The states of Meghalaya and Assam in north eastern Indian have both seen severe flooding and rain-related incidents since 22 September.

In Bangladesh, high levels of the Teesta River prompted authorities in Bangladesh to open flood gates at the Teesta Barrage at Dalia, Nilphamari District in Rangpur Division.

The Teesta river at Dalia reached 52.87 metres on 24 September, 2020, where the danger mark is 52.60 metres.

Levels of the Teesta river at Dalia, Rangpur, Bangladesh, September 2020. Image: Bangladesh FFWC

Water releases began on 24 September, 2020, flooding homes in low-lying areas of Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts in Rangpur Division according to local media reports. Some 5,000 people were left marooned in Lalmonirhat.

Across Rangpur Division around 50,000 hectares of crops have been submerged, according to regional officials.

The 2020 Monsoon in Bangladesh

Rangpur was among the many areas badly affected by monsoon-related flooding in Bangladesh this year.

Over 3 million people were affected across 31 districts during severe monsoon flooding in July and August this year. By mid August over 220 people had died, more than 1.27 million houses had been partially or fully damaged and over 167,000 families remained displaced across the country.

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