People are living in Chattogram hill slopes amid risk of landslide in the rainy season.Photo: UNB
Chattogram, June 11 (UNB) – Torrential rains for the last two days, triggered by monsoon depression over North Bay and its adjoining areas, caused severe waterlogging in low-lying areas of the port city, putting thousands of people in trouble.
Solosahar, Gate No 2, Bohoddarhat, Chawkbazar, Chhotapul, Bakalia and Halisahar areas in the city went under knee-deep to waist-deep water due to overnight incessant rains.
Monsoon depression over Sandwip and adjoining northeast bay moved North Northeastwards, crossed Chattogram coast (near Sitakunda) around 09.00 pm on Sunday night and now lies over Feni and adjoining areas as a monsoon land depression, according to the Met Office.
It is likely to move in a northerly direction further inland and weaken gradually.
Under the influence of land depression, steep pressure gradient persists over North Bay. Deep convection is continuing over the North Bay and adjoining Southeastern part of Bangladesh.
Squally weather is likely to affect the maritime ports, North bay and adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal No three.
Abdul Hannan, assistant meteorologist of Patenga Met Office, said around 150 mm of rain have been recorded in the last two days.
Apprehending hill collapse, the district administration directed the inhabitants of the hill slopes to move to safer places.
Sources at the district administration said they are requesting the inhabitants of Batali Hill, Miyar Pahar, AK Khan and Amij Jute mill areas through loudhailers to leave the hill areas.
Assistant Commissioner (land) and executive magistrate Sabbir Rahman said the possibility of hill collapse is increasing as the rainfall continues. The residents of the risky hill areas have been asked to move to safer places to avert any possible casualties in hill collapse.
According to the sources, around five lakh people are living in over 100 slums built legally and illegally on the hill slopes in Lal Khan Bazar, Moti Jharna, Hamjarbag Nabinagar Pahar, Barma Colony Pahar, Enayet Bazar Jamtola Bosti, Pologround Bazar, Batali Hill, Jilapi Pahar, Nasirabad Pahar, AK Khan Pahar, Chandranagar Pahar, Roufabad Pahar, Kumusbagh, Jalalabad, Cantonment, Bayazid Bostami, Khulsi, Sholoshahar, Kumira and other areas.
The Deputy Commissioner of the district said 13 hills in the port city are at high risks. Water and electric connections have already been disconnected after evacuating people living in the hill slopes, he said.
Besides, the district administration is ready to face any disaster, including hill collapse. Volunteers and rescuers, including fire service and civil defence members, have been put on alert, he said.
A few days back, the district administration evicted the residents from hill slopes, but most of the people returned to the hills when the drive ended.
Around 200 people were killed in several incidents of hill collapse and waterlogging in the city over the last 10 years. Among them, 127 people were killed in hill collapses and waterlogging triggered by heavy rains in seven areas, including Kaicchagona adjacent to the Cantonment, on June 21, 2007.
Besides, at least 89 people were killed in incidents of hill collapse and tree collapse in Rangamati, Bandarban and Chattogram districts on June 12, 13 in 2017.