2 million people stranded as devastating floods hit Bangladesh again


Floods in Bangladesh: Much of northeastern Bangladesh is under water and the situation could worsen


Bangladesh has deployed troops to help two million people stranded by floods after relentless monsoon rains inundated large swaths of territory for the second time in weeks, officials said on Friday.

Floods are a regular threat to millions of people in the lowlands of Bangladesh, but experts say climate change is increasing their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability.

Much of the northeast of the country is under water and the situation could worsen over the weekend with heavier rains forecast.

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Authorities have suspended looming secondary school leaving tests across the country, with hundreds of classrooms now being used as makeshift shelters for those whose homes have been submerged.

“The situation is very alarming. More than two million people are now stranded by the floods,” the chief administrator of the Sylhet region, Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, told UKTN.

“People took refuge on their boats. We have deployed the army and we are trying to evacuate them.

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Hossain said authorities had sent the army to flood-hit rural towns, with soldiers going door to door distributing aid and rescuing people from rising tides.

Heavy rains that started last week in Bangladesh and parts of neighboring India fed rivers that overflowed downstream, said Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan of the government’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre.

He added that the Surma River, the largest waterway in the Sylhet region, was more than one meter (three feet) higher than normal.

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“This is one of the worst floods in the region’s history. The situation will get worse in the next three days,” he said.

Much of the region is currently without electricity or internet, Bangladeshi Sylhet journalist Mamun Hossain told UKTN from the area.

The worst flooding in nearly two decades hit Sylhet late last month, with at least 10 people killed and four million others affected.

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