Asia

United Nations: Four million people hit by floods in Bangladesh

At least 4 million people have been affected by the worst floods in Bangladesh’s northeast for nearly two decades, the United Nations said on Monday.

The Bangladeshi government said the floods, which began last week, had submerged 70 per cent of Sylhet district in the northeast and 60 per cent of Sunamganj district, leaving at least 10 people dead and about two million marooned.

Heavy rains and a rush of water from upstream in India’s northeast swelled rivers in Bangladesh, with two main border rivers, the Surma and Kushiara, breaching a major embankment and inundating hundreds of villages.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, the head of the state-run Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, said the two rivers hit their highest levels since records began in the 1970s.

“It is one of the worst floods in the history of the country’s northeast,” he said. “The water level in the two rivers hit some 1.75 meters above their danger level at the height of the floods last week.”

Bangladesh has shut all schools and colleges in the region.

Floods are a regular menace to millions of people in low-lying Bangladesh and neighboring northeast India, but many experts say that climate change is increasing their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability.

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