Bangladesh says 900,000 people affected by floods

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-05 19:44:49|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Devastating flooding in parts of Bangladesh has affected some 900,000 people and displaced thousands of families, the country's Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Secretary Shah Kamal told Xinhua Wednesday.

According to the senior government official, authorities have already rushed teams of disaster response force to carry out rescue work, distribute relief materials and supervise centers where nearly 2,000 families have taken shelter.

"Some 900,000 people are affected due to floods in three districts," Kamal said.

He said the affected districts include Sylhet and Moulvibazar in northeastern Bangladesh and Cox's Bazar in the country's southeast.

Floods triggered by heavy seasonal rains and onrush of water from hills across the Indian borders have also caused widespread damage to habitation, crops, roads and highways across vast areas of the country.

In many places, the floods eroded large portions of villages and agricultural land, washed away buildings.

The flood has forced hundreds of educational institutes to shut down.

Authorities have evacuated residents of hundreds of villages to higher ground in the districts that are prone to torrential rains between June and September.

Flood monitoring center in Dhaka said people in flood affected villages in the country's northeast and southeastern regions have been marooned as their homes have gone under up to waist high water.

Local TV footage Wednesday showed the residents left their houses wading through flooded roads or on boats in search of shelter or a dry ground to live temporarily.

Though many have been affected by monsoon floods across the country but officials said Wednesday that no disaster-related deaths from injuries or illness were listed so far.

Kamal said they have the information that water levels could subside in the next few days.

"The overall flood situation in northeastern part of the country may likely to improve in next 48 hours," said Sarder Udoy Raihan, duty officer at Flood Forecasting and Warning Center of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

But he said the entire flood situation in the northeastern part of the country would defend on overall rain fall activity in the river basin areas.

Among the 90 monitored water level stations, he said, water levels at seven monitored river stations are flowing above their respective danger marks while 65 river stations showed rising trend.

Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Secretary Shah Kamal said the government has stepped up its relief efforts for the people who have been displaced by the floods.

Apart from the government, local and foreign organizations have also been extending support to Bangladeshi flood victims.

The Red Cross Society of China has made a cash donation to help Bangladesh's communities affected by the flooding that has stranded hundreds of thousands of people.

The Chinese embassy in Bangladesh's capital on Tuesday handed over a cheque of 100,000 U.S. dollars on behalf of the Red Cross Society of China to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.

The Chinese embassy said the Chinese side is willing to provide assistance for relief work according to Bangladesh's needs.

Plight of millions of people in Bangladesh, criss-crossed by more than 230 rivers, mounts every year as the low-lying South Asian country experiences almost every year seasonal floods whether small or big.