Monday, June 14, 2010

River flooding, erosion hitting earlier than usual in Bangladesh

Syful Islam in Reuters AlertNet: Hundreds of people in Sirajganj district, northwest of the capital city of Dhaka, lost their homes and crops to unusually early flooding and river erosion this year, a development experts believe is linked to climate change. "Usually such flooding comes in late May. But this year the flood and river erosion took place at least one and half months before. This is bit unusual," said Ainun Nishat, a senior climate change adviser with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Dhaka.

"If you look at the history, you will hardly get any examples of such early flooding and massive erosion," he said. This year, the Jamuna River at Sirajganj was flowing two meters higher than normal the first week of May, when it is usually much quieter, he said.

People in Sirajganj district said the early flooding brought much faster erosion than in previous years. Already this year, 300 people have lost their homes and crops to the problem, said Fazel Khoda, a local journalist. Parts or all of six villages, as well as hundreds of acres of farmland, have been lost to the Jamuna so far this year, he said, and many more villages are at risk….

A boat on the Jamuna River, shot by Ragib, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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