Millions marooned in Bangladesh, India floods

Officials said floodwaters overwhelmed parts of Bangladesh and northeast India on Tuesday, as authorities attempted to rescue more than 9.5 million people who were stuck with limited food and drinking water following days of heavy rain.

Heavy monsoon rains have caused the worst floods in more than a century in certain sections of low-lying Bangladesh, killing at least 69 people there and in northeast India‘s Assam state in the last two weeks.

“People are going hungry. Since floodwaters flooded all tube wells, they don’t even have access to drinking water “Abu Bakar, a 26-year-old Sunamganj inhabitant in northeastern Bangladesh, spoke to the media over the phone.

Television video showed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina flying over some of the flood-affected districts on Tuesday, looking down on vast swaths of brown water broken up by infrequent outcrops of land.

Between June and October, the monsoon delivers severe rains to South Asia, causing floods, particularly in low-lying countries like Bangladesh, where rivers flooded by water pouring out of the Himalayas sometimes overflow their banks.

Extreme weather has been increasingly common in South Asia in recent years, and environmentalists fear that climate change may exacerbate the severity of future disasters.

Bangladesh’s Department of Disaster Management director general, Atiqul Haque, said three additional districts in the country’s northern and central regions have been inundated.

“The local administration has been involved in rescue and relief activities, as have the army, navy, police, fire and emergency services workers, and volunteers,” Haque stated.

The floods in the Sylhet region, which includes Sunamganj, are the worst in over a century, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund, which says 90 percent of its health facilities have been flooded and cases of waterborne infections are on the rise.

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.

Four million people have been trapped by flash floods in northeastern Bangladesh, including 1.6 million children,” UNICEF stated in a statement.

Bangladeshi military helicopters delivered bags of relief goods to civilians waiting on roofs in some regions, according to television video.

Flood shelters were filled with people, according to Syed Rafiqul Haque, a former congressman and governing party leader in Sunamganj district.

He stated, “Many people are still without food and water.”

“The cries for aid are becoming more audible.”

Flooding in Assam, India’s neighbor, has blocked off three districts in the Barak valley, and officials and people say the water in portions of the region’s main city of Silchar is waist-deep.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed the reporters, “The situation is quite critical.”

“We’ll endeavor to provide gasoline to Silchar and the other two districts as soon as possible.”

According to an official, Indian army and paramilitary personnel have been brought in to assist with rescue efforts and have rescued roughly 1,000 people in the last 72 hours.

According to figures from the state-run India Meteorological Department, Assam and neighboring Meghalaya had gotten 134 percent more rainfall than the usual for this time of year.

According to the government, almost 4.7 million people have been displaced from their homes in Assam, with 330,000 of them residing in shelters.

Majaharul Laskar, a retired government officer in Silchar, remarked, “I am 80 years old and have never experienced such destruction in my life.”

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