Saturday 10, December 2022

41 dead in floods: millions stranded

News Desk: Monsoon storms in Bangladesh and India have killed at least 41 people and unleashed devastating floods that left nearly 6 million stranded, officials said on Saturday warning the situation could worsen.

The flooding in Bangladesh, described by a government expert as potentially the country's worst since 2004, was exacerbated by the runoff from heavy rain across Indian mountains.

Rain continued on Saturday, with more forecast over the next two days.

"Much of the country's northeast is underwater and the situation is getting worse as heavy downpour continues," said Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, chief administrator of Bangladesh's Sylhet region.

Seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers across South Asia, also typically cause loss of life and property every year.

Bangladesh and India have experienced increasing extreme weather in recent years, causing large-scale damage. Environmentalists warn climate change could lead to more disasters, especially in low-lying and densely populated Bangladesh.

The worst-hit Sunamganj district is almost disconnected from the rest of the country, he told Reuters, adding that authorities helped by the army were focused on rescuing those trapped and distributing relief.

"There is shortage of boats, which makes it harder to move people to safer places," he said. "Today the navy is joining us in rescue efforts".

Television footage showed Bangladesh roads and railway lines submerged, with people wading through chest-high brown churning waters, carrying their belongings and livestock.

Four people were killed and three injured after landslides struck their houses in the southeastern district of Chittagong early on Saturday, said local police official Wali Uddin Akbar.

Many of Bangladesh’s rivers had risen to dangerous levels, said Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, head of the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre.


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