Millions in Bangladesh and India await relief after deadly flooding -Breaking
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This is a boy who wades through the floodwaters in an area in Bangladesh’s northeastern region, during a massive flood on June 19, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer
Ruma Paul, Zarir Hussain
DHAKA/GUWAHATI (India) – Officials said Monday that authorities in Bangladesh and India were scrambling to help more than 9 million people who had been left homeless by the worst floods for years.
Flooding from monsoon rains caused by low-lying Bangladesh has left a quarter its population homeless in northeastern Sylhet. The area is surrounded by rising waters and swelling rivers.
Atiqul Haque (Director General of Bangladesh’s Department of Disaster Management) stated that the flooding in Sylhet is among the worst of the past 122 years.
Sylhet is now worsened due to waters gushing down from India’s Meghalaya state. This includes some of the most wettest regions in the world like Mawsynram, Cherrapunji and Cherrapunji which received an average of 970mm (38in) of rain each Sunday according government data.
Around 300,000 people were moved to Sylhet shelters. However, more than 4 million people remain stranded in their flood-prone homes. Authorities are faced with additional challenges to deliver aid including water, food, and medicine.
Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain from Sylhet division, said by phone that “the situation is still alarming.”
“We have intensified our efforts in providing relief materials. The main issue right now is reaching everyone and making sure there’s water.
Khalilur Rahman is a Sylhet resident. He said that floodwaters had flooded the second floor of his house, and the locals used boats to get around.
Rahman (43), said that he had never witnessed such flooding in his life. He also told Reuters via phone that no electricity has been restored since Thursday’s heavy rainfalls. There is not enough water and dry food are disappearing.
Flood waters in Assam state, an Indian neighbor, have begun receding. This is where 26 people were killed when heavy rains started about a fortnight back.
However, 4.5 million have been forced to flee their homes and around 220,000 are staying in temporary shelters provided by the government. More than a million acres of farmland have been destroyed.
Pijush Hazarika (Assam’s Water Resources minister) stated to Reuters that “the overall flood situation has improved”.
“Now, the greatest challenge is to reach out and give relief material to those who have been displaced.”
In recent years, South Asian neighbors have seen an increase in extreme weather, which has caused large-scale destruction. Environmentalists also warn of climate change, particularly in Bangladesh, where there is a lot of population.