Disasters & Accidents

4 million affected by severe floods in northeastern Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jun 17 (EFE).- Around four million people have been affected as northeastern Bangladesh witnesses its worst flood in two decades, officials said Friday.

The authorities said they have opened some hundred shelters to evacuate the people and carried out large scale rescue and relief efforts as flood waters severely affected the Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, bordering India.

“We are monitoring the situation round the clock, Sylhet and Sunamganj districts are fully inundated. The army was called in to aid the civil administration. Wherever it is possible we are taking people to shelters,” Kamrul Hasan, secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, told EFE.

Sylhet divisional commissioner Muhammad Mosharrof Hossain said at least four million people have been affected by the flood, forcing the authorities to shut the region’s only international airport and suspend public examinations for school students.

The worst affected district of Sunamganj has been cut off from the rest of the country as all roads have become submerged while over two million people of the district are living under blackout since early Friday.

“Our communication with Sunamganj completely collapsed. Power supply system also failed as both the power sub-stations in the district are now under flood water,” Debojit Singha, deputy commissioner of Sylhet division, told EFE.

“We have not seen this magnitude of floodwater in this area in the last 20 to 22 years,” he stressed, however, adding that there were no reports of any causality yet.

Located in the Ganges delta at near sea level and with a fifth of its territory covered by rivers or their tributaries, every year Bangladesh witnesses frequent floods every year during the monsoon season between June and September.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, the head of the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, said excessive rain in upstream Indian states was the main reason for the severity of the floods this season.

“We have had two spells of flood already this season. So, our water bodies are already full and a little rain is taking the water above the danger level. In addition to that there is too much of rain in upstream Indian states this year,” Bhuiyan told EFE.

Bhuiyan said that the situation is unlikely to improve in the next two or three days as there was no sign of rain relenting.

At least 74 people died and millions have been affected by heavy rains that have lashed northern and eastern India and Bangladesh for over a week in May. EFE


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