27 killed in floods in Bangladesh, nearly 6 lakh affected

27 killed in floods in Bangladesh, nearly 6 lakh affected

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.