Millions stranded as floods ravage parts of Bangladesh, India, more rain forecast

By Ruma Paul and Zarir Hussain

DHAKA/GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) -Monsoon rains triggered widespread flooding in northeastern Bangladesh and India, stranding almost 6 million folks and killing at the least 19 folks in Bangladesh, authorities mentioned on Saturday, warning the scenario might worsen.

Lightning strikes have killed at the least 15 folks in eight districts in Bangladesh since Friday, and 4 folks have been killed in landslides, police officers mentioned.

The flooding in Bangladesh, described by a authorities knowledgeable as doubtlessly the nation’s worst since 2004, was exacerbated by the runoff from heavy rain throughout Indian mountains. Rain continued on Saturday, with extra forecast over the subsequent two days.

“A lot of the nation’s northeast is underwater and the scenario is getting worse as heavy downpour continues,” mentioned Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, chief administrator of Bangladesh’s Sylhet area.

Seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers throughout South Asia, additionally usually trigger lack of life and property yearly.

Bangladesh and India have skilled growing excessive climate in recent times, inflicting large-scale injury. Environmentalists warn local weather change might result in extra disasters, particularly in low-lying and densely populated Bangladesh.

The worst-hit Sunamganj district in Bangladesh is sort of disconnected from the remainder of the nation, Hossain instructed Reuters, including that authorities helped by the military have been targeted on rescuing these trapped and distributing aid.

“There may be scarcity of boats, which makes it more durable to maneuver folks to safer locations,” he mentioned. “At this time the navy is becoming a member of us in rescue efforts.”

Tv footage confirmed Bangladesh roads and railway traces submerged, with folks wading by way of chest-high brown churning waters, carrying their belongings and livestock.

Lots of Bangladesh’s rivers have risen to harmful ranges, mentioned Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, head of the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre.

Syed Rafiqul Haque, a former lawmaker and ruling celebration politician in Sunamganj district, mentioned a humanitarian disaster might emerge if the floods didn’t recede and correct rescue operations weren’t performed.

“The scenario is alarming,” he instructed Reuters. “There isn’t any electrical energy, no highway connection, no cell community. Individuals are in desperately in want of speedy shelter and meals.”

In neighbouring India’s northeastern state of Assam, armed forces have been referred to as in for rescue efforts after landslides killed at the least 9 folks and displaced almost 2 million from their houses within the final 10 days, officers mentioned.

“Troopers are serving to police and civil authorities in a number of elements of Assam in evacuating trapped villagers,” Jogen Mohan, the state’s income minister, instructed Reuters.

Torrential rains lashed 25 of the state’s 33 districts for a sixth day.

(Enhancing by Edwina Gibbs/William Mallard/Ros Russell)

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