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Millions Stranded as Floods Wreak Havoc in Bangladesh

Since late last week, at least 32 people have reportedly died as a result of flooding.

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World
2 min read
Millions Stranded as Floods Wreak Havoc in Bangladesh
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Monsoon rains in Bangladesh's low-lying areas have caused catastrophic flooding in the northeastern Sylhet administrative division, leaving a quarter of the country's 15 million people stranded in fast-rising waters and swollen rivers. The incessant rains have prompted authorities to bring in the army.

Since late last week, at least 32 people have died as a result of flooding, Reuters reported.

Around 300,000 people have been relocated to Sylhet shelters, but more than four million people remain stuck near their flooded houses, making it more difficult for authorities to get drinking water and medical supplies to them.

Around 94 percent of Sunamganj and over 84 percent of Sylhet are under water, according to the latest data by the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

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The flood, according to a report by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is worse than the floods of 1998 and 2004.

"The crisis struck at a time when the people of the division were recovering from unexpected recent floods that hit in late May," it stated in its report.

The Situation in Bangladesh

  • The SSC exam has been postponed across the country, and educational institutions in the impacted areas have been closed. In the districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj, government primary schools are being used as flood shelters.

  • Flight operations have been halted for three days at Sylhet's Osmani International Airport due to flooding.

  • The power supply had been disrupted to avoid accidents.

  • "Health facilities at the Upazila level, Upazila Health Complex (UHC), Community Clinic (CC), and Union Health & Family Welfare Centre (UH&FWC) are impacted significantly due to the flood," OCHA wrote in its report.

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United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced that it was urgently seeking $2.5 million to respond to the situation in Bangladesh, and that it was collaborating with the government to provide water purification tablets, emergency medical supplies, and water containers.

"Children need urgent help," UNICEF tweeted.

Assam Flood Situation Remains Critical

With all the major rivers in spate, Assam's flood situation remained dire, affecting nearly 47 lakh people and killing 11 more people.

According to a report provided by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the death toll from this year's floods and landslides in Assam has risen to 82.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited a relief camp set up in the Nalbari district on Tuesday to inspect the facilities there.

"Directed district administration to ensure that the affected people get access to relief materials, including child food," the CM wrote in his tweet.

He also announced that the government would soon develop a portal for flood victims to record livestock losses and other flood-related damages.

"A flood relief package too will be announced shortly," Sarma said.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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