Dhaka, Aug 6 (efe-epa) – At least 145 people have been killed and over five million affected in Bangladesh since the beginning of July due to monsoon floods, which have submerged more than half of the country, authorities said on Thursday.
Ayesha Akther, a spokesperson of the health emergency operations control room, told EFE that at least 145 people had died in the country in flood-related incidents since June 30.
The central Jamalpur and Tangail districts were among the worst affected in terms of causalities, having reported 29 and 25 deaths respectively until August 5.
The ministry of disaster management and relief said in its latest report on Wednesday that flood waters have swept into at least 33 of the total 64 districts in the country, affecting over 5.5 million people.
“This is the longest floods we have seen in years. But water has started receding from many districts already and we are preparing for the response in the aftermath of the flood,” said Tasmin Ara Ajimiri, the officer in-charge of the national disaster response coordination center.
“We are waiting to complete the assessment of damage. Once we do this we will take our next step,” she said.
The flood relief efforts have had to incorporate special measures linked to Covid-19 in rescue operations and while housing people in relief shelters. The disease has led to nearly 250,000 cases and caused over 3,300 deaths in the country so far.
The natural disaster also comes at a time when the poorer sections of the society are already struggling to overcome the economic crisis linked to the coronavirus lockdown and the pandemic’s effect on the national economy.
Located in the Ganges delta at little altitude above sea level and with a fifth of its territory covered by rivers or their tributaries, Bangladesh is struck every year between June and September by floods sparked by monsoon rains.
Heavy rains have lashed the entire region over the last few weeks, causing flooding and landslides in Nepal that have left almost 200 people dead or missing.
In neighboring India, almost 12 million people have been affected by the floods mainly in the northern states of Assam and Bihar. EFE-EPA