© Dhaka Tribune
At least 60,000 people are marooned and road communication has been snapped in many parts of the districts

About 17,135 hectares of cropland has gone underwater in nine upazilas of Kurigram district during the fifth phase flooding triggered by the onrush of upstream water and heavy downpours.

The flood can damage homesteads and croplands of thousands in the district, say residents of these areas.

The local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) says the district experienced 156 mm rainfall in the last 12 hours, from 10pm on Saturday to 10am on Sunday.

The water level of Dharla is flowing 32cm above the danger line and in the Brahmaputra, it is also on the rising trend.

The BWDB office confirmed that all the rivers will follow a rising trend the following two days causing a fifth phase flood in the district.

"Damage to crops could increase further and a total of 17,135 hectares of cropland containing Ropa Aman, peanuts, vegetables, among others, went underwater in the district," said Shamsuddin Mia, the acting deputy director of Kurigram Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).

Meanwhile, at least 60,000 people are marooned and road communication has been snapped in many parts of Kurigram.

A number of char areas including Kurigram Sadar upazila, Rajarhat upazila, Phulbari upazila and Ulipur upazilas were flooded, marooning these people.

In some places, people took shelter on high roads and embankment with their livestock.

Besides, a number of houses were washed away by the strong current of the Dharla River, while erosion took a serious turn in many areas, putting houses, educational institutions, roads and flood protection dams at risk.

Kurigram Water Development Board Executive Engineer Ariful Islam said Dharla was flowing 28cm above its danger level on Sunday morning.

"Erosion took a serious turn at 20 points of Brahmaputra, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Teesta rivers and the work to protect the riverbanks is underway," said Islam.

Flood showed no sign of improvement in the last couple of days but it may improve after two-three days, said the office.