July 23, 2024, 11:36 am

Sunamganj traders suffer for entering flood water into shops, warehouses

  • Update Time : Wednesday, June 19, 2024
  • 52 Time View
Photo Collected
  • They incur huge losses
  • Traders believe the flooding situation will not improve until it has a dam for protection

Sunamganj Correspondent:

Shops, warehouses and homes have been inundated in Sunamganj with the flash floods as water from upstream and incessant rains has rushed into the town putting local residents and traders in trouble.

Traders said the damage was extensive as shops were shut during the Eid-ul-Azha holidays.

The water level has continued to rise in Sunamganj since Tuesday morning. However, the water has started to recede in the area adjacent to the Surma riverbank. The south-eastern areas of the city near Dekhar Haor, however, are still seeing the inundation get worse.

Houses and shops were waterlogged in all areas apart from the Old Bus Station, Poura Market, and DS Road until Tuesday afternoon. Many valuable goods were damaged by the water.

Meanwhile, thousands of vehicles parked on both sides of the Abduz Zahur Bridge are at risk of damage due to the water.

Most of the rivers in the northeastern part of the country, except for the Manu and Khowai, saw their water level rising, according to the Flood Forecast and Warning Centre of the Water Development Board. Heavy rain and upstream runoff have worsened the flood situation in Sylhet and Sunamganj. Low-lying land in Netrokona and Moulvibazar also faced flood risks.

Meghalaya’s Cherrapunji, which sees the highest rainfall in the world, is situated upstream from Sunamganj’s Chhatak and Dowarabazar Upazilas. It takes four hours for the rainwater there to reach Chhatak and Dowarabazar and six hours to reach Sunamganj.

“All of the goods inside my warehouse were submerged in water and ruined. I had fertiliser, seeds and many other things in the shop. They were all damaged before the shop was opened in the morning. All traders in Madhyabazar are facing financial losses,” said Bikash Roy, a trader at Muktijoddha Market.

”Our home is submerged in water and so is the shop. Both were equally damaged within one and a half hours on Wednesday morning. However, the water receded a little in the afternoon,” said Chandan Roy, who operates the Roy Store in Madhyabazar.

He said that Sunamganj needs a dam for protection if residents are to be freed from the suffering inflicted by floods each year. “Also, it is important to dredge and revive the canals inside the city,” he said.

Geeta Das, a convenience store owner in Ukilpara, said she was asleep when someone woke her up to inform her that her shop was flooded. She immediately rushed there with her husband and children and found some of her inventory, such as biscuits, damaged by the water.

“All of the houses and shops in Ukilpara are submerged in water. Almost everyone is suffering,” she said.

Hamad Ahmed, a magazine seller in North Arpinnagar, said water had inundated all the single-storey houses and shops in his neighbourhood. “The Sahebbari jetty is totally submerged. People are moving to the shelters. But they face difficulties with food and accommodation there,” he said.

At least 80 percent of Sunamganj was submerged on Tuesday morning, said Sunamganj Municipal Mayor Ahmad Noor.

“We told the flood victims to take refuge in shelters. Then water receded in the northern part of the city in the evening but rose in the southeastern part. We have arranged dry food for the flood victims.”

Vehicles were seen parked on both sides of the Abduz Zahur Bridge at 10pm on Tuesday. Several were parked on higher land to prevent the engine from breaking down if submerged in water.

Driver Jahangir Mia was with his seven-year-old daughter inside a car.

“I’ll look after the car and stay inside it with my daughter. This is because there’s a fair chance of my house getting waterlogged,” he said.

The water level rose fast on Tuesday morning inundating houses and shops, said Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Rashed Iqbal Chowdhury. The roads were submerged. He said control rooms were open in every Upazila.

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