At least eight people died and 17 others were injured in Bandarban as the tourism hub has been grappling with floods, landslides, and an ongoing blackout since Sunday.
Amid this catastrophe, two individuals remain missing, as shared by Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Shah Mujahid Uddin during a media briefing on Thursday afternoon.
Compounding the crisis, mobile networks and internet services have been severely disrupted for the fourth consecutive day due to a power outage that began on Sunday night.
Locals have noted some limited improvement in the network connectivity of Robi, Airtel, and Teletalk since Thursday morning.
Bandarban DC Shah Mujahid Uddin said, "the situation has markedly improved.
"Water levels have receded in Bandarban Sadar and Lama areas, while Sangu and Matamuhuri rivers have dropped below dangerous levels. Road communication has been largely reinstated, with the exception of Rowangchari, Ruma, and Thanchi upazilas. A few buses have successfully traveled from Dhaka to the district."
To alleviate the hardships faced by the affected population, 168 tonnes of rice and 50,000 liters of potable water have been distributed at the upazila level. Assurances have been provided that relief materials are in adequate supply.
DC Shah Mujahid Uddin highlighted the pressing issue of restoring the electricity connection, which remains the primary challenge. "The situation is still favorable, but the only challenge is to establish electricity connection. We are suffering from a fourth day of power shortage. Once the power problem is solved, all problems will be solved," he underscored.
Deepta Chakraborty, Assistant Engineer of Bandarban Power Distribution Department, revealed that the flooding submerged the panels of the two transformers responsible for supplying power to Bandarban. An expert technical team from Dhaka has been diligently working since Wednesday night to restore the system's functionality, raising hopes of a swift resolution to the power connectivity issue.
Heavy rains over the past week have submerged the entire low-lying areas of Bandarban, leading to waterlogged government offices and homes. The impact has extended to regions like Rowangchari, Ruma, Thanchi, Lama, and Alikadam upazilas, where government buildings and residences have been inundated.
Lama upazila has borne the brunt of the flooding, submerging the upazila health complex and food warehouse. Road traffic has begun to normalize on the Alikadam-Lama to Chakaria road as water levels recede.
As rain has lessened in intensity since Wednesday, water is gradually receding from low-lying areas of Bandarban.
However, muddy residue has accumulated in government offices, courts, shops, and houses. Local residents are actively engaged in cleaning up the aftermath of the floods.
Jhantu Das, a member of the Bandarban Purvi-Purvani Bus Owners Association, shared that the situation is slowly returning to normalcy. Drivers were unable to operate due to houses being submerged, but as the water recedes, buses are beginning to operate along the Chattogram route. Nonetheless, challenges remain due to some drivers being unable to reach the station due to flood-related difficulties.