Flood situation in the northern region of the country has deteriorated further although water in some rivers was flowing below the danger level.
About 40 lakh people in 31 districts have been affected by the floods which have lasted for one month, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Mohammad Enamur Rahman.
"The flood situation in 16 districts may worsen further in the next 24 hours as the water level of the Brahmaputra and the Jamuna rivers continues to rise. Additionally, there is fear of increasing water level in the low-lying areas of Dhaka for two more days," he added.
The state minister made the remarks on the latest flood situation at a press briefing arranged by the ministry on Saturday afternoon.
Water level comes down in some rivers in North Bengal
Water was flowing 47cm below the danger line in Dalia and 59cm below the line in Kaunia points of the Teesta River in Rangpur.
Md Mehedi Hasan, executive engineer of the Rangpur Water Development Board, said there was no chance of increasing water in the Brahmaputra River in the next seven days, unless there is a heavy monsoon rain.
Md Mahbubur Rahman, executive engineer of Bogura Water Development Board, said water level remained stable on Saturday.
He said water was flowing 117cm above the danger line in the Jamuna River and 20.7cm above the line in the Bangali River till 3pm on Saturday.
"There is no chance of increase of water in Jamuna," said Md Mahbubur, adding that there was no damage on the flood control dam on the right side of the Jamuna River.
Meanwhile, water in rivers in Kurigram and Gaibandha was flowing above the danger level.
Most of the chars in Gaibandha were waterlogged and low-income people in that area took shelter on the flood control dam with their livestock.
Most of the people in Sonatala, Dhunat and Sariakandi upazilas in Bogura were living in waterlogged areas.
Twelve unions in Sariankandi upazila were flooded where 1 lakh people of 25,000 families in 116 villages live.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Sariakandi Md Rasel Mia said crops worth Tk65.38 core in around 8,000 hectares of land in the flood affected areas were ruined.
Md Rasel said they distributed 335 tonnes of rice and 6,500 packets of dry food among the flood affected people.
Water still increasing in Tangail
Water in the Jamuna, Bangshai, Dhaleshwari, and other rivers in Tangail has been increasing again.
Water level in four rivers there were flowing above the danger level and flooded 558 villages in nine upazilas.
Sources at the Water Development Board in the district said water was flowing 155cm above the danger level in the Dhaleshwari River, 83cm above the danger level in the Jamuna River, and 97cm above that level in the Jhinai River at 9am on Satuday.
Flood damaged more roads and bridges in the district. Many houses and crop fields in low lands and char areas there were still submerged.
Besides, there was a scarcity of drinking water in the flood affected areas, where many people have not received any relief material.
Around 3 lakh people in the district have been suffering due to the flood and 5.5 lakh people are living in waterlogged areas in Tangail.
In the third phase of the flood, around 10,000 hectares of cropland went under water.
Sources at the district administration said low lands and chars in Tangail sadar, Nagarpur, Delduar, Vuianpur, Kalihati, Dhanbari, Gopalpur, Basail, and Mirzapur upazilas were flooded. Five municipalities in the district were also flooded partially.
Flood situation improves in Sunamganj
Flood situation in Sunamganj was improving as the water in rivers including the Surma River in the district was flowing below the danger line.
Water is receding from the low lands in the district and many people who were staying at the shelter centre were returning to their homes.
People in the district have been receiving assistances from the government and non-government agencies.
The government is providing 10kg rice to flood affected people who were listed.
Md Sabibur Rahman, executive engineer of Sunamganj Water Development Board, said the flood situation there has been improving for the last two days.
State minister's briefing
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Mohammad Enamur Rahman also said as many as 3,975,936 people of 865,800 families in 147 upazilas have been affected.
Quoting the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC), he said the flood situation in different places may worsen further for two more days. Flood waters may start to recede from July 26-27 across the country. The floods are expected to end in the first week of August.
Enamur Rahman said, "Six committees have been formed to look into relief distribution and various problems at the upazila, union and ward levels for the next 21 days. They will fix the volume of relief allocation where it is needed."
A hotline number has been set up in flood-hit areas so that no one is deprived of food aid, he added.
"People who are in dire need of food and call 333 and tell us their situation will be given aid quickly."
There is ample relief stockpile, and the government is providing adequate relief assistance, the state minister claimed.
As Gaibandha, Kurigram and Jamalpur have been most affected by the flood; relief is being provided in those areas with priority.
Responding to a question on whether the floods are worse than those in 1988 and 1998, as it has lasted for a month, he said, "This time the floods are not happening all over the country. Some districts are being flooded. So there is no chance to compare it with those terrible floods."
The state minister welcomed US government's flood relief for two upazilas in Kurigram and Gaibandha. But he refuted their claims that many people here are starving and homeless and are not getting any government help.
Quoting the Deputy Commissioners of the two districts, Enamur Rahman said there are no people in these districts who are in dire need of food.
However, there is no chance of a final assessment of the damage until the floods are over, he said.
The first phase of the flood started on June 26, the second phase started from July 11 and the third phase from July 21.