Four million people hit by floods in Bangladesh: UN


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

The Bangladeshi government said the floods, which began last week, had submerged 70 percent of Sylhet district in the northeast and 60 percent 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 metres (5.7 feet) above their danger level at the height of the floods last week.”

The United Nations Children Fund put the extent of the damage even higher with “over four million people” in five districts in the country s northeast affected by the floods.

“The damage to lives, homes and schools is heartbreaking. In this disaster, as in most others, children are the most vulnerable,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.


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