With all the transboundary rivers crossing from India into Sylhet full to the brim due to the onrush of hilly waters from upstream and incessant rains over the past several days, the north-eastern division has been going through a steadily building nightmare for the last several weeks. The Surma and the Kushiara, in particular, are flowing above the danger level.

The low-lying areas have already been flooded, rendering nearly one lakh people marooned, officials said.

Meanwhile, a vast tract of the bordering areas of Goainghat, Companiganj, Kanaighat, Jointapur and Jakiganj upazilas have also been inundated.

In Sylhet city, several roads have gone under water with floodwaters entering a number of government establishments.

AKM Niloy Saha, the deputy divisional engineer of the Sylhet Water Development Board, said, "We are receiving reports of the collapse of flood protection dams from different parts of the district."

According to weather experts, if the incessant rains in neighbouring India's Meghalaya and Assam districts continue, the flood situation may worsen further in the district.

Syed Ahmed Chowdhury, a senior meteorologist of Sylhet Weather Office, said the flood situation may worsen further as rains are likely to occur in Sylhet on May 20 and May 21.

District's relief and rehabilitation officer Nurul Islam, however, said that the local administration has opened a number of shelters and food has been allocated for the flood-hit people.

Cry for relief

Hundreds of flood-affected people in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj district have been waiting for relief materials from the administration.

Many victim families have taken shelter at the three temporary flood shelters in the upazila as onrush of water from the upstream and heavy rains inundated their houses and marooned tens of thousands of people. Chhatak upazila administration has distributed dry food among the flood victims.

However, these are not sufficient and many people did not get food, alleged some flood-affected people. Farmers are also facing a shortage of fodder at the shelters and there is also an acute crisis of pure drinking water at the shelters, they said.

Only flood victims who have taken shelter at the educational institutions are getting relief, they alleged.

People who have taken shelter in other places and marooned people are not getting food and cash assistance from the administration, they said.

Setara Begum, wife of fisherman Abdul Matin, who has taken shelter at Takipur Govt Primary School, said she didn't have food for the last three days. She didn't receive any kind of relief from anyone.

Meanwhile, classes at around 180 government primary schools have been suspended as the school premises went under floodwater.

Mamunur Rahman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Chhatak upazila, said they have already completed all necessary preparations to face the natural disaster.

A control room has been opened to monitor the overall flood situation, he said.

"I have visited flood-affected areas in Islampur and Nuarai in the morning," he added

Sylhet schools shut due to flooding

Thousands of students have been hit hard as flooding forced authorities to close educational institutions in Sylhet district. According to the district primary education office, floodwaters have entered some 550 educational institutions in the district.

Besides, 200 educational institutions have been designated as shelters for the flood-hit residents of the district, forcing students to stay away from their academic activities.

All the rivers of the district are full to the brim due to the onrush of hilly waters from the upstream and incessant rains over the past several days, according to officials.

The low-lying areas in the division have already been flooded, rendering nearly one lakh people marooned.

There are 1,477 primary schools in the district and 400 schools were affected till Wednesday, May 18. Goainghat, Kanaighat, Jointapur, Jakiganj and Companiganj upazilas are the worst hit.

District education officer Shakhawat Ershad feared that new areas in the district could be flooded soon due to the rise in water levels of all the rivers in the district.

Besides, sources said that 150 secondary schools and madrasas have been inundated due to flooding.

No sign of improvement

The overall flood situation in Sylhet district worsened further Thursday morning, with some rivers still flowing above the danger level due to the onrush of hilly waters from India. Although the showers have subsided in the district in the last two days, the water levels in rivers and haors of Sylhet rose two more inches due to the onrush this morning.

According to the administration, at least 30 areas of Sylhet city have been flooded. The flood situation has also worsened in 13 upazilas of the eponymous district -- Companiganj, Gowainghat, Kanaighat, Zakiganj, Jaintapur and Sylhet Sadar upazilas to name a few.

The floods have affected 20 lakh people in Sylhet district, including the city. It has triggered power cuts in different upazilas and Sylhet city, hitting hard some 11.5 lakh consumers of Bangladesh Power Development Board and Palli Bidyut Samiti.

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