DHAKA: Flash floods triggered by incessant rains have left at least 27 people dead and nearly six lakh others marooned in nearly two dozen districts in Bangladesh, officials said on Monday.
The unrelenting flow of water from upstream regions coupled with monsoon rains has flooded as many as 20 districts with the flooding spreading to other parts, officials said.
The Disaster Management Ministry said that 27 people have died in the floods as monsoon grasped 20 of the country’s 64 administrative districts.
The deluge has affected some 586,000 people, forcing 368,586 of them to take refuge in makeshift shelters as the country witnesses the second round of floods since June.
Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury said that government’s preparedness was underway to face a greater disaster in view of severe flooding in upstream countries like, China, India, Nepal and Bhutan.
“We have been carefully monitoring the situation in those countries (as) the water will naturally flow downstream to us,” he said.
His comments came as expert feared the deluge to engulf vast part of the riverine nation in the coming weeks, causing a prolonged flooding.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) records suggest that water levels in three out of four river basins were rising simultaneously.
If there are more rains at the end of August, at least 25 districts will be affected by floods, the FFWC predicted.
The water levels will keep rising as India’s northeastern states will see “heavy to very heavy” rains, it said.
“We are taking all precautionary measures keeping the forecast in mind,” Department of Disaster Management Director General Reaz Ahmed said.
Around 60,000 families in Kurigram and at least 400 families in Nilphamari have been marooned.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday ordered procurement of food grains from abroad to face any possible shortfall against the backdrop of impending deluge.
Bangladesh experienced the worst floods in decades in 1998 when 68 per cent areas of the country submerged. The flooding in 2007 was less severe than those of 1988 and 1998, affecting 40 per cent of the country.