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Continuous Heavy Rainfall Worsens Sylhet Floods, Strands Nearly 4 Lakh People

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sylhet rainfall

Continuous heavy rainfall over the past two days has severely worsened the flood situation in Sylhet, marking the second such instance in just 20 days. Nearly four lakh people in the Sylhet metropolitan area and throughout the district are now stranded.

In the metropolitan area alone, 10,000 people across 15 wards have been affected by flooding, according to Sylhet district administration sources on Tuesday afternoon.

Sylhet experienced the first phase of flooding on May 27, impacting approximately seven lakh people across all upazilas. The water had not fully receded when heavy rainfall and hill torrents struck again on June 15, worsening the situation by Eid day (June 17).

Heavy rainfall on Eid-ul-Azha morning briefly subsided, but resumed from Tuesday dawn, causing significant overflows in all rivers and streams in Sylhet. On Eid day, water levels were above danger points at two river locations. By Tuesday morning, water levels at four rivers were above danger points at six locations.

The Water Development Board in Sylhet reported that by last evening, the Surma River at Kanaighat point was 133 cm above danger levels. At another point in Sylhet, it was 27 cm above. The Kushiyara River was 47 cm above danger levels at Amalshid and 88 cm above at Fenchuganj. Additionally, the Sari River at Sarighat was 33 cm above danger levels.

By Tuesday, 864 villages and localities in Sylhet were inundated, affecting 371,507 people. Within the metropolitan area, 10,000 people remain stranded. To address the crisis, 619 shelters have been opened, including 80 in the metropolitan area.

Low-lying areas of the city are particularly hard-hit, with Shahjalal suburb completely submerged and water reaching neck level in many homes. Other severely affected areas include Jatrapur, Mendibagh, Shibganj, Raingar, Sobhanighat, Kalighat, Kamalgarh, Machimpur, Taltala, Jamtola, Kajirbazar, Madina Market, Akhaliya, and Mezortil. Several important roads within the city are also flooded.

From 6 am Monday to 6 am Tuesday, the Sylhet Meteorological Office recorded 153 mm of rainfall and forecasted continuous heavy rainfall for the next three days.

The district administration is actively working to rescue stranded individuals and has set up control rooms at the district collector’s office and upazila executive offices to monitor the flood situation. Dedicated officers have been appointed in each upazila, and medical teams have been formed at union levels to provide health services to flood victims.

If the heavy rainfall persists, the flood situation in Sylhet is expected to deteriorate further.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Calls for Unity Against Genocide in Gaza

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the Muslim community to unite against the genocide in Gaza being perpetrated by Israel.

“This genocide in Gaza is unacceptable. We must all stand united against it,” she stated.

The Prime Minister made these remarks during a courtesy call from Egyptian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Omar Mohie Eldin Ahmed Fahmy, at her office.

Advocacy for Peace and Welfare
PM’s Deputy Press Secretary, KM Shakhawat Moon, briefed journalists after the meeting. Moon reported that the Prime Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s firm stance against the ongoing war. She appealed for reallocating funds used for arms production and warfare towards the welfare of humanity, particularly focusing on women and children.

“It is far more effective to redirect the funds from arms production and wars towards the betterment of mankind,” she emphasized.

Sheikh Hasina noted that she consistently voices her opposition to the genocide in Gaza in every forum she attends.

Strengthening Bilateral Relations with Egypt
The Prime Minister also highlighted the untapped potential in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Egypt, which have not progressed as expected. She mentioned that the total trade volume between the two countries was USD 180.6 million (Export USD 30.1 million and Import USD 150.5 million) in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

She suggested that collaboration in agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and education could be mutually beneficial.

Egyptian Ambassador’s Response
Ambassador Fahmy echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments, stating that the Muslim Ummah needs to be more united against the genocide in Palestine. He praised the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, stating, “A leader like you is needed not only in Bangladesh but also across the world.”

Fahmy also mentioned that the Grand Imam of Egypt, whose rank is equivalent to that of a Prime Minister in Egypt’s constitution, wishes to visit Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina responded positively, expressing Bangladesh’s eagerness to welcome him.

Expanding Trade and Friendship
The Egyptian ambassador expressed interest in increasing trade and business between the two countries. He also commended Bangladesh’s friendly relations with all nations and reminisced about the friendship between the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and former Egyptian Prime Minister Anwar Sadaat.

PM’s Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin and Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah were among those present at the meeting.

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Met: Light to Moderate Rain with Gusty Winds Expected

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Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty winds are expected in several regions, with heavier downpours likely in northern, central, and northeastern divisions.

“Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, and Chattogram divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions,” stated a Met Office forecast.

The axis of the monsoon trough stretches from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal to Assam, crossing northern Bangladesh. One associated trough extends to the North Bay.

The monsoon is currently fairly active over Bangladesh and moderate over the North Bay, according to the meteorological release valid for the next 24 hours starting from 9 am today.

On Saturday, the maximum temperature in the country was recorded at 36.0 degrees Celsius in Rajshahi, while the minimum temperature today was 24.8 degrees Celsius in Bandarban.

The highest rainfall in the last 24 hours up to 6 am today was recorded at 51 millimeters in Mongla.

Day and night temperatures may rise slightly across the country.

In the capital, the sun will set at 6:49 PM today and rise at 5:20 AM tomorrow.

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PM Sheikh Hasina to Address Media on China Visit Tomorrow

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hold a media briefing tomorrow (14 July) to discuss her recent visit to China, according to a statement from her press wing.

“The press conference will take place at the prime minister’s official residence, Gono Bhaban, at 4pm,” the release stated.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina embarked on an official visit to China on Monday (8 July) at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang and returned on Thursday (11 July).

During her stay in Beijing from 8-10 July, she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and held bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People.

Following the delegation-level discussions on Wednesday morning, Bangladesh and China signed and renewed 21 cooperation documents, primarily Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), aimed at strengthening development and economic ties between the two nations.

Additionally, both countries announced seven key outcomes, including the completion of a joint feasibility study on a Bangladesh-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

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