Millions are blocked as floods devastate Bangladesh, more rain forecast

Dhaka: Heavy monsoon rains have caused widespread flooding in the northeast Bangladeshleaving more than four million people stranded, authorities said Saturday, warning the situation could worsen.
The flood, described by a government expert as potentially the worst in the country since 2004, was exacerbated by torrential rains in the Indian Mountains. It will continue to rain on Saturday and it is forecast to rain in the next two days.
“Much of the country’s northeast is under water and the situation is deteriorating as torrential rains continue,” said Sylhet chief executive Mohammad Mosharaf Hossein.
The most severely affected Sirajganj The area is almost separate from the rest of the country, he said, adding that authorities with the help of the army have focused on rescuing those trapped in the floods, as well as distributing aid.
“There is a shortage of boats, which makes it difficult to move people to safer places. Today, the fleet is joining us in the rescue effort, he said.
Television footage shows roads and railroads submerged as people tread through chest-high brown raging waters carrying their belongings and livestock.
Four people have been killed and three injured after landslides hit their homes in the Chittagong early Saturday, local police officer Wali Udin Akbar said.
Many of Bangladesh’s rivers have risen to dangerous levels, said Arifuzaman Bhuiyan, head of the state’s flood forecasting and warning center.
“As the floods still continue, this could be worse than the 2004 floods,” he said, adding that this was the third round of floods to hit the region in two months.
Sayed Rafikul Hake, a former MP and politician from the ruling party in Sunamganj district, said a humanitarian crisis could arise if the floods do not subside and appropriate rescue operations are carried out.
“The situation is alarming. There is no electricity, no road connection, no mobile network. People are in desperate need of immediate shelter and food,” he said.
Seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers South Asiathey usually cause loss of life and property every year.
In recent years, there have been more cases of extreme weather events in Bangladesh, causing extensive damage. Environmentalists warn that climate change could lead to more disasters in the low-lying and densely populated country.
“People have no contact with people. Especially Sunamanj is without electricity for two days,” said Alomgir Shahriar, a student at University of Dhaka.
“I feel so helpless. I can’t connect with my family members when they’re in such a terrible situation.”

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