Bangladesh floods toll rises

120 people killed since July; one-third of country affected

August 19, 2017 08:49 pm | Updated 08:49 pm IST - Dhaka

Water world: Bangladeshi schoolchildren wade past floodwaters in Gaibandha district on Saturday.

Water world: Bangladeshi schoolchildren wade past floodwaters in Gaibandha district on Saturday.

With nearly one-third of Bangladesh hit by monsoon floods, which have killed about 120 people since mid-July, authorities said on Saturday that an estimated 5 million people in more than 28 northern and central districts are the worst affected.

Most of the victims were washed away by flood waters, while some were electrocuted and killed by snake bites.

According to the Department of Disaster Management, the floods, caused by a rush of water from upstream rivers and incessant rainfall, has damaged crops on over 6,18,000 ha and destroyed at least 15,000 houses completely and 2,50,000 partially.

Authorities have closed thousands of educational institutions in 18 districts in north and central Bangladesh, where most houses went under water and both road and rail communications were badly disrupted.

All the major rivers in the affected areas, including Brahmaputra and Padma, are flowing at above the danger levels. More and more areas in the central parts of the country are being inundated.

The main concern of the government is to get adequate relief for the victims, said officials. Food Minister Quamrul Islam said the government has sufficient stock to feed the people . However, media reports said in most areas, the relief distribution was not adequate.

The disaster management department said that cash of around 60 million taka, about 16 tonnes of rice and 36,500 packets of dry food have been distributed among the flood-affected people.

After causing a havoc in the north, the flood waters have now started inundating the central districts surrounding Dhaka. However, the capital is still out of danger as the rivers surrounding it – Turag, Balu and Buriganga – are all flowing below the danger level.

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