Monsoon storms in Bangladesh and India killed at least 41 people and released devastating floods that left millions stranded, officials said Saturday.
Floods are a regular threat to millions of people in low-lying Bangladesh, but experts say climate change is increasing its frequency, strength and unpredictability.
Relentless spills over the past week have left huge stretches of northeastern Bangladesh, and troops deployed to evacuate families isolated from neighboring communities.
Relief shelters were made for schools so that in a few hours rivers overflowing their banks suddenly flooded entire villages.
“The whole village went under water early Friday and we all got stuck,” said Lokman, whose family lives in Companiganj village.
“After a day’s stay on the roof of our houses, a neighbor got us on a transfer boat. My mother said she had never seen such a flood in her whole life, ”said the 23-year-old.
ALSO READ: KZN floods: 87 people still missing
Asma Akter, another woman rescued from the rising waters, said her family had not been able to eat for two days.
“The water rose so fast we couldn’t take any of our things with us,” she said. “And how can you cook anything when everything is under water?”
Lightning triggered by the storms has killed at least 21 people across the South Asian nation since Friday afternoon, police officials told AFP.
They included three children between the ages of 12 and 14 who were struck by lightning on Friday in the rural town of Nandail, said local police chief Mizanur Rahman.
Four others died when landslides hit their hillside homes in the port city of Chittagong, police inspector Nurul Islam told AFP.
At least 16 people have been killed since Thursday in remote Meghalaya of India, state prime minister Conrad Sangma wrote on Twitter, after landslides and overflowing rivers flooded.
Next door in the state of Assam, floods affected more than 1.8 million people after five days of relentless spills.
Assam Himanta prime minister Biswa Sarma told reporters he had instructed district officials to provide “all necessary assistance and relief” to those trapped in the floods.
‘The situation is bad’
Floods in Bangladesh worsened on Saturday morning after a temporary recovery from the previous evening’s rains, the chief administrator of the Sylhet region, Mosharraf Hossain, told AFP.
“It simply came to our notice then. More than four million people are trapped by floodwaters, ”said Hossain, adding that almost the entire region was without electricity.
The floods forced Bangladesh’s third largest international airport in Sylhet to close on Friday.
Around the regional capital, residents went through shallow deep water along roads near vehicles partially submerged.
Forecasters said the floods were set to worsen over the next two days with heavy rainfall in Bangladesh and upstream in northeastern India.
Ahead of this week’s rains, the Sylhet region was still recovering from the worst floods in nearly two decades late last month, when at least 10 people were killed and another four million were affected.
41 dead, millions stranded as floods hit Bangladesh, India Source link 41 dead, millions stranded as floods hit Bangladesh, India