With 36 dead in 27 flood-affected districts and another river on the rise, an entire community has come together to paper over the cracks of a resource-strained nation struggling to battle one of the deadliest wars unleashed by Mother Nature in years.
As of Monday, 6,000 people had sought refuge from the floods in 56 shelters in Sylhet city, with 2,31,000 more spread across 497 shelters across the district.
Almost five days into the flood then, government relief was yet.
Rashida Begum, who had taken shelter at Salutikar Degree College in Gowainghat Upazila of Sylhet, had not eaten in days.
But then a few youths from Sylhet came bearing food on Tuesday.
Biman Talukder, a member of the relief team, said, "We have been collecting donations for the last three days and distributing relief in different parts of Sylhet. Every day, we are providing cooked food to 300 people and dry food to 200 more people," he said.
He said relief hadn't reached a lot of areas, especially the remote ones.
Although the administration said it had been providing relief, many victims had been left behind.
For them, people from all walks of life, different organisations and institutions stepped forward, becoming rays of hope for the thousands affected.
Binoy Bhadra, an online activist, has been working to rescue flood victims since the floods began. Now he is carrying out relief activities. "Today we distributed relief in Khaligaon of Companiganj. No one had brought relief here before.
"Many here are financially solvent but there is a food shortage so they can't buy any food. They, too, have been forced to take relief," he said.
Cultural activists of Sylhet have also been providing food aid to 1,000 people since the floods worsened.
President of the Natya Parishad Sylhet Mishfaq Ahmed Mishu said, "We are providing flattened, puffed rice, biscuits, saline, bread, drinking water and food purification tablets. We are also giving liquid milk to babies. About 50 drama and cultural activists are delivering food to the people on a voluntary basis," he said.
Mishu said that once the water recedes and people return from the shelter, they will start distributing rice, pulses and oil.
Roy Chowdhury, chief executive officer of Sylhet City Corporation, said relief work has started in the city. "We have received 30 metric tonnes of rice from the government. Besides, we are distributing flattened and puffed rice, molasses, bread and water. Tk50,000 has also been given to each councillor for distribution among the flood victims."
He said more food aid was needed given the number of people affected.
Saiful Islam, a resident of a colony in Barikandi area of the city, however, said he has received no government assistance so far, adding no one from the administration had even come to visit the spot.
Sylhet Deputy Commissioner Mujibar Rahman said there is no crisis of relief, but because of a lack of boats there were some problems in distribution.
Those have been resolved, he said, adding that as people had stood beside the victims, the administration's task had become easier.
According to the health department, there have been 22 deaths in Sylhet so far. Most drowned, while some were electrocuted and others died of snake bites.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services, 15 people have also died in Mymensingh and three in the Rangpur division.
Meanwhile, 80% of Sylhet and Sunamganj remain submerged and four million people have been stranded.
Companiganj upazila has been the worst-affected as almost all of it remains submerged. The upazila is also without electricity and mobile network.
However, no deaths have been reported in the upazila, according to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer.
In Sylhet, the water level of the Surma river has further decreased, but the river Kushiyara is rising at an unusual rate according to officials of the Water Development Board (WDB).
Erosion has occurred at various places of Kushiyara river protection dam. The flood situation has deteriorated in Zakiganj, Fenchuganj, Beanibazar, Balaganj, South Surma Osmaninagar and Golapganj upazilas.
Water is declining in Companiganj, Gowainghat, Jaintapur, Sadar, Kanaighat and Bishwanath upazilas.
According to the WDB, 39 dams of the river have broken and overflowed in Zakiganj upazila till Monday.
Woman drowns trying to save daughter
The bodies of two women were recovered from the flood waters in Netrokona on Tuesday.
The body of Julekha Begum was recovered from Jurail Haor in Kendua upazila of Netrokona on Tuesday.
Besides, the body of another woman was recovered from a beel in the Kharnai area of Kalmakanda upazila.
Quoting locals, Kendua Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Ali Hossain said Jhuleka Begum, wife of Hares Mia of Dakshinpara in Jurail village, went to the Jurail Haor on a dinghy with her sister-in-law Nazmunnahar, her 7-year-old daughter Tanzina and two others to see the flood waters.
At one point, Tanzina fell into the water after the boat was rocked by strong winds. Jhuleka jumped into the water to save her daughter. Although Tanzina was saved, Jhuleka drowned in the water.
Her body was later found by relatives.
In Kalmakanda, locals found the decomposed body of a woman floating on the beel and informed police, Sub-Inspector of Kalmakanda Police Station Shahidul said.
Law enforcers later recovered the body and sent it to a morgue for autopsy.
Her identity is yet to be known, but police believe she may have come from the bordering India.
Flood worsens in Habiganj
The flood situation in Habiganj has further deteriorated.
Some 45 unions of six upazilas have been flooded.
Meanwhile, 334 km of paved roads in the district were damaged in the floods.
So far 11 unions of Nabiganj upazila, 6 unions of Lakhai upazila, 15 unions of Baniachang upazila and 6 unions including Ajmiriganj municipal area, 8 unions of Habiganj Sadar and 1 union of Bahubale are now under water.
According to government estimates, more than half a million people have been stranded so far, but unofficial numbers put the figures at nearly double that.
Our Netrokona and Habiganj correspondents contributed to this report.