Millions of people displaced and 18 dead as floods sweep India and Bangladesh

People wade through flooded waters in Sylhet, Bangladesh, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP/Abdul Goni)

Thousands of people have been stranded by catastrophic floods that have destroyed northeastern India and Bangladesh, leaving millions of homes submerged and destroying transportation links, as reported by authorities on Saturday.

According to the state's disaster management organization, at least nine people were murdered, and two million dwellings were drowned in Assam, India. Since Friday, lightning strikes in neighboring Bangladesh have resulted in at least nine deaths.

Both nations have requested assistance from their respective forces due to the impending threat of further floods resulting from the weekend's forecasted rainfall.

In Sylhet, in northeastern Bangladesh, on the banks of the Surma River, children perched on the window of a flooded home. At the same time, other family members gathered on a bed inside their flooded home, some contemplating how to survive the hardship.

"How can we eat (under these circumstances)? "Anjuman Ara Begum remarked while standing in the water in her kitchen. "People have provided us with muri (puffed rice) and chira (flattened rice), as well as other items. What other options exist? We are incapable of cooking."

According to airport manager Hafiz Ahmed, flights at Osmani International Airport in Sylhet were suspended for three days because floodwaters nearly approached the runway. The route between Sylhet and Sunamganj was also inundated, although motorcyclists were still traveling.

The flood forecasting and warning center in the nation's capital, Dhaka, reported rising water levels in all main rivers. There are roughly 130 rivers in the country.

In the worst-affected districts of Sunamganj and Sylhet in Bangladesh's northeastern region, as well as in the northern districts of Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari, and Rangpur, the situation is expected to worsen, according to the center.

The Brahmaputra, one of the greatest rivers in Asia, breached its mudbanks, flooding 3,000 villages and croplands in 28 of Assam's 33 districts in India.

We anticipate moderate to heavy precipitation in numerous regions of Assam through Sunday. The amount of rain has been exceptional, according to Sanjay O'Neil, an officer at the meteorological station in Gauhati, the capital of Assam.

Several train services were canceled in India during the past five days due to the persistent rainfall. In the town of Haflong in southern Assam, the railway station was submerged, and mud and silt were deposited along the rail tracks due to flooding rivers.

The Indian military has been activated to aid disaster relief organizations in rescuing stranded individuals and delivering food and other necessities. Soldiers utilized speedboats and inflatable rafts to traverse flooded areas.

A pre-monsoon flash flood, precipitated by an upstream water influx in India's northeastern provinces, struck the northern and northeastern portions of Bangladesh last month, destroying crops and causing damage to homes and highways. This week, additional rains swamped the same sections of the country, which had just begun to recover.

Low-lying Bangladesh, home to 160 million people, is threatened by natural disasters such as floods and cyclones exacerbated by climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, approximately 17 percent of Bangladesh's population will need to be evacuated within the next decade or two if global warming continues at its current rate.

Publish : 2022-06-19 08:10:00

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