Roundup: Millions stranded as floods ravage parts of NE Bangladesh


By Karim

by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The floods in parts of Bangladesh's northeastern Sylhet region due to the onrush of upstream waters coupled with heavy downpours have affected millions of people and displaced tens of thousands.

Sheikh Russel Hasan, deputy commissioner and district magistrate in Sylhet, told Xinhua Thursday that "around 1 million people were affected by floods merely in the Sylhet district."

He said authorities have rushed teams of disaster response force to carry out rescue operation, distribute relief materials and supervise centers where at least 20,000 people have taken shelter.

TV reports showed that wide areas of land are under water in parts of the northeastern region of Bangladesh where floods also caused widespread damage to habitation, crops, roads and highways.

Officials said tens of thousands of homes in Sylhet's neighboring Sunamganj, Moulvibazar and Habiganj districts have also been inundated and electricity has been cut.

The water level at most points of key Surma, Kushiyara, Manu, Dhalai, Kalni and Gowain rivers running through the districts have burst their banks and continued to flow above the danger level Wednesday.

Bangladeshi Army soldiers were deployed on Wednesday to protect a flood affected power sub-station in Sylhet city. Army soldiers have been working to ensure uninterrupted power supply from the power sub-station that has been affected by ongoing floods.

Leading English newspaper The Financial Express said on Thursday that the ongoing devastating floods have left nearly 2 million people marooned in the northeastern districts while relentless rain threatens to worsen the situation.

There are so far no known injuries nor deaths to have occurred in the districts as a result of the ongoing floods.

Millions of people in Bangladesh, criss-crossed by hundreds of rivers, suffer from flooding as the low-lying country experiences seasonal floods every year during the June-September monsoon when rivers that feed into the Bay of Bengal burst their banks.

At least 10 people in separate landslides died in camps of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar district Wednesday when incessant rains have inundated many places.

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