Bangladesh: Deluge Leaves Over 2 Million People Stranded, 10 People Killed As Death Toll Likely To Rise

Bangladesh Meteorological Department has forecasted more heavy rainfall in the next few days.

Children play in deluged waters in Bangladesh | Photo: AP

The unprecedented monsoon rains have caused widespread flooding in Bangladesh. Reports said increased river water discharge from neighbouring India has caused flooding in the country’s northern region with over 2 million people left stranded.

The United Nation’s children's agency UNICEF said trapped residents in the region, including more than 772,000 children, were in urgent need of assistance, Reuters reported.

"Children are the most vulnerable, facing heightened risks of drowning, malnutrition, deadly waterborne diseases, the trauma of displacement, and potential abuse in overpopulated shelters," the above report quoted Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh as having said.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department has forecasted more heavy rainfall in the next few days. The rainfall as per experts could increase the flooding and cause landslides in hilly areas.

According to the Reuters report, at least 10 people, including eight Rohingya Muslims, were killed on Wednesday after heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.

Reports said the country’s northeastern region has been particularly hard hit, with heavy rainfall and upstream water from India causing widespread flooding.

Bangladesh is still recovering from a cyclone that hit its coastal belt in the south late last month.

TV footage showed extensive flooding in fields and villages with people wading through knee-deep water in Sylhet city as the rainfall dangerously swelled water levels along four rivers in the region.

Vast areas of land are submerged, posing a significant threat to crops if the floodwaters linger for an extended period, the Reuters quoted the country’s agriculture ministry officials as having said.

The flooding has also caused significant damage to infrastructure with over 810 government schools in the Sylhet division flooded and nearly 500 being used as flood shelters, UNICEF said.

Almost 140 community clinics were also submerged, disrupting essential healthcare services.

Earlier, the World Bank Institute’s 2015 analysis had said that approximately 3.5 million people in Bangladesh, one of the world's most climate-vulnerable countries, were at risk of annual river flooding.