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At least 30 villages in five upazilas in the northern district of Lalmonirhat went under water in a matter of minutes Tuesday afternoon after India opened 54 gates of the Gajoldoba barrage upstream amid heavy rains.

Lalmonirhat was not among the districts that weather forecasters feared would get flooded because of the heavy rains inside Bangladesh and in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura in the upstream.

Weathermen on Monday had predicted that heavy rains might continue to cause moderate flooding in many parts of the north-eastern, central and south-eastern districts from mid-July.

But there was no warning of a flood hitting Lalmonirhat now.

Due to the flooding, about 20,000 people in the affected areas watched on as their neighbourhoods and vast croplands went under water.

Sub-divisional engineer of Water Development Board Bazle Karim told New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat that the authorities at Teesta Barrage were forced to open its 44 gates to cope with the downward gushing of water.

He said that India had opened 54 gates of the Gajoldoba barrage at around 4:30pm.

The Teesta and Dharla rivers were flowing above two and three cm respectively above their danger levels in the afternoon and were swelling up very fast.

The affected upazilas are Lalmonirhat Sadar, Hatibandha, Kaliganj, Aditmari and Patgram.

About 30 more villages in the district were feared to go under water overnight.

Hatibandha upazila nirbahi officer Samiul Amin told New Age that they asked for immediate relief supplies and issued fresh flash flood alerts for several areas.

Meanwhile, the communication of the country with the hilly district of Bandarban remained snapped since Tuesday morning after a part of Chattogram-Bandarban highway got submerged because of flash flood.

The New Age correspondent in Chattogram reported that a portion of the highway went under water at Kerani Hat at around 9:30am.

Tourist operators said that a large number of tourists got stranded in Bandarban since the road communication collapsed.

Bandarban bus owners association general secretary Jhantu Das said that the highway was still under water on Tuesday evening and they could not resume the bus service until the situation improved.

On Tuesday, the district administration in Khagrachari opened 45 shelters as rivers in the district kept rising rapidly threatening to burst their banks.

Almost all major rivers in Bangladesh swelled on Thursday as heavy rains continued on many areas for the fourth consecutive day.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre in an afternoon bulletin said that all the major rivers except for the Padma would continue to swell over the next 48 hours.

Heavy to very heavy rains would continue in northern, north-eastern and south-eastern regions of Bangladesh and Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura in the upstream in the next 48 hours, said FFWC.

The Sangu was flowing seven cm above the danger level at 9:am, said the FFWC.

News COurtesy: www.newagebd.net

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