‘Devastating’ Floods Affect 16 Mn Lives in India, Nepal and B’desh
 Villagers move to safer place from flood-hit Vaispara in Araria district of Bihar. (Photo: PTI)
Villagers move to safer place from flood-hit Vaispara in Araria district of Bihar. (Photo: PTI)

‘Devastating’ Floods Affect 16 Mn Lives in India, Nepal and B’desh

A "serious" humanitarian crisis is unfolding across South Asia where "devastating" monsoon floods have affected more than 16 million people, including over 11 million in India, the Red Cross said on 18 August.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), over 16 million people have been affected by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh with more than 400 deaths in the three countries.

"This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods," said Martin Faller, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific IFRC.

"Millions of people across Nepal, Bangladesh and India face severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood waters," Faller said.

In India over 11 million people are affected by floods in four states across the north of the country. India’s meteorological department is forecasting more heavy rain for the region in the coming days, the IFRC said in a report.

Around 74 more deaths were reported on Thursday from the deluge-battered areas of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal, taking the figure of flood casualties to 119 in Bihar.

Flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh. Flooding of major rivers such as the Jamuna has surpassed levels set in 1988 – the deadliest floods the country has ever faced, it said. In Nepal, many areas remain cut off after the most recent destructive floods and landslides, on August 11 and 12.

Volunteers from Indian Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent are working non-stop alongside local authorities to help their communities be safe and prepare for worsening floods, it said.

IFRC released just over 320,000 Swiss Francs (USD 330,000) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in late July to support the immediate needs of 25,000 of the worst affected people in eastern India over three months, it added.

Geneva-based IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network, comprising 190 member National Societies that work to save lives and promote dignity around the world.

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