“In the morning, the water of the River Surma crossed the danger line. If this continues, we fear a fourth spell of flooding," said Sabibur Rahman, executive engineer of Sunamganj WDB
The water level of the River Surma is continuing to swell as rainwater and an onrush of water from India's Cherrapunji are inflating the stream, inundating Aman paddy fields and roads in Sunamganj.
The rising water has shattered the hopes and dreams of farmers in Sunamganj as their Aman paddy fields have been submerged; following the previous disruptions to Aman cultivation by three prior spells of monsoon floods.
On Friday evening, the river was flowing one centimetre above the danger level in Sunamganj, according to the Sunamganj Water Development Board (WDB).
Additionally, Sunamganj-Bishambharpur-Tahirpur Road went under water, halting road communication of the upazilas with the district town on Friday at dawn.
WDB sources said 450 millimetres of rainfall have been recorded at Cherrapunji, in India's Meghalaya state, in the last 48 hours. The waters are flowing towards Sunamganj. Delayed Aman paddy is being submerged and damaged due to the increase of water.
Monsoon floods have hit Sunamganj thrice. The first spell of floods hit the district on June 26 while the second and third ones did so in July. After two months, another spell of flooding is heading towards the district, they added.
In a visit to Gaurang union of Sunamganj Sadar, The Business Standard saw that Aman fields were under waist-deep water. One could not tell that there had been Aman fields there. Many farmers were seen looking feebly at their fields as they could not believe their fields have been submerged overnight.
The Boithakhali, Bhadertek and Anowapur portions of the Sunnamganj-Bishambarpur-Tahirpur Road have been inundated due to incessant rains for the last three days and an onrush of water from upstream, massively damaging the road.
Sazzadur Rahman, a farmer of Boroghat village, said, "I have not seen four to five spells of floods in a year in my 70 years of life. I cultivated Aman paddy from my small earnings. Now, the flood has not only destroyed Aman seedlings it has also ruined all my hopes."
Samirul Islam, a farmer from Kutubpur village, along with his teenage son, was seen trying to save fish with a farm net. However, his fish were washed away at night.
"The fish have been washed away four times in the floods. My seven acres of land have also gone under water. I will starve due to the losses," he said.
Sunamganj Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Salah Uddin Kaiser Tipu said Aman cultivation in Sunamganj has already been delayed by a month this year due to three spells of flooding. Now water has come for the fourth time and inundated the paddy fields. Additionally, fish farmers are facing losses as the water has washed away their fish.
If the water does not recede, Aman production will be disrupted this time, the Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer said.
Sobibur Rahman, Sunamganj WDB executive engineer, said, "Due to continuous rains in Cherrapunji, the water level is rising here. The water level of the River Surma crossed the danger line in the morning. If this continues, we fear a fourth spell of flooding."