25 dead, 4 million stranded in Bangladesh floods

Officials in Bangladesh reported on Saturday that monsoon rains killed at least 25 people and caused disastrous floods that trapped more than four million people.

Floods are a constant threat to millions of people in Bangladesh‘s low-lying areas, but scientists warn the climate crisis is increasing the frequency, fury, and unpredictability of these natural disasters.

Over the last week, torrential rains have swamped large swaths of the country’s northeast, forcing military to evacuate residents blocked off from neighboring settlements.

“Much of the country’s northeast is under water, and the situation is worsening as the heavy rains continue,” said Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, the Sylhet region’s top administrator.

Schools have been converted into relief shelters to house entire communities overwhelmed by rivers that burst their banks in a couple of hours.

“By early Friday, the whole village was under water, and we were all stuck,” said Lokman, whose family resides in Companyganj hamlet.

“After waiting all day on our roof, a neighbor came to our rescue with a handmade boat. “In her whole life, my mum has never seen such floods,” the 23-year-old stated.

Another lady rescued from the rising floods, Asma Akter, claimed her family had gone two days without eating.

“We couldn’t bring any of our belongings since the water rose so rapidly,” she explained.

“How can you prepare anything when everything is submerged?” says the narrator.

Since Friday afternoon, lightning strikes generated by the storms have killed at least 21 people throughout the South Asian nation, according to police authorities.

Three youngsters aged 12 to 14 were among those struck by lightning on Friday in the remote town of Nandail, according to local police head Mizanur Rahman.

According to police inspector Nurul Islam, four more persons were killed when landslides struck their hillside homes in Chittagong’s port city.

After a brief respite from the storms the previous day, flooding exacerbated on Saturday morning, according to Hossain. “It’s an awful scenario.” “Flood water has trapped almost four million people,” Hossain added, adding that practically the whole region is without power.

He claimed the worst-affected Sunamganj area is practically cut off from the rest of the nation, and that officials, aided by the army, were concentrating on rescuing people stranded and providing supplies.

“There is a scarcity of boats, making it more difficult to evacuate people to safer areas,” he explained. “The navy has joined us in our rescue attempts today.”

Sylhet, Bangladesh’s third biggest international airport, was forced to close due to flooding on Friday.

According to Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, head of the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, several of Bangladesh’s rivers have reached unsafe levels. “As long as the floods continue, it might be worse than the 2004 floods,” he warned the reporters, noting that this was the region’s third bout of flooding in two months.

Flooding is expected to intensify in Bangladesh and upstream in India’s northeast during the next two days, according to forecasters.

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