Home International News New floods hit Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands stranded

New floods hit Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands stranded

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – Heavy monsoon rains in the northeastern and northern regions of Bangladesh have stranded hundreds of thousands of people, forcing authorities to deploy military soldiers for evacuation and relief efforts, official statements and news reports early Saturday.

The army’s Inter Service Public Relations agency said on its website that the soldiers were deployed when floods devastated northeastern Sunamganj and Sylhet districts, cutting people off from electricity as thousands of homes were flooded.

At least nine people died in the delta nation on Friday after lightning struck during rainfall, the United News of Bangladesh agency reported.

In a statement, the government’s Flood Prediction and Warning Center in Dhaka, the country’s capital, said on Friday that water levels in all major rivers across the country were rising. The country has about 130 rivers.

The center said the flooding situation is likely to worsen in the next 24 hours in the worst affected districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet in the northeastern region and in Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts in northern Bangladesh.

Hafiz Ahmed, manager of Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, said on Friday that flight operations at the airport have been suspended for three days as the floodwaters have nearly reached the runway.

Last month, a flash flood before the monsoon caused by an influx of water from India’s northeastern states, the northern and northeastern regions of Bangladesh, destroyed crops and severely damaged homes and road networks. The country was only recovering from that shock, but when the monsoon only started a few days ago this year, fresh rain flooded the same regions again.

Bangladesh, a country of 160 million inhabitants, is low-lying and threatened by climate change-related natural disasters such as floods and cyclones. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, about 17% of people in Bangladesh would have to be relocated in the next decade if global warming continues at its current rate.

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