Millions Displaced and Dozens Dead in Floods in India and Bangladesh

NEW DELHI – In and , heavy pre-monsoon rains have destroyed train stations, towns and villages and left homeless due to extreme weather events. heat waveheavy rainfall and flooding are becoming more common in South Asia.

More than 60 people died in the , landslides and thunderstorms that left many people hungry and thirsty and cut off the internet, isolating them, according to officials.

Destruction in the northeast, one of India’s worst-affected regions, has flooded railway tracks, bridges and roads. In the remote state of Assam, 31 of its 33 districts were affected by the flooding, affecting the lives of more than 700,000 people, authorities said on Saturday. At least 18 people have died so far due to flooding and landslides in the state. news reports.

At least 33 people died as a result of lightning strikes and heavy rains in 16 districts in the neighboring state of Bihar. Nitish KumarThe Prime Minister said on Friday.

Climate scientists have said that India and Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their proximity to the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. experiencing increased heat waves. Rising sea temperatures have led to “dry conditions” in some parts of the Indian subcontinent and a “significant increase in precipitation” in other regions. a study It was published in January by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.

On Sunday, India’s meteorological department warned of “storms with lightning and very heavy thunderstorms” in many parts of the country’s far northeast, where one of the world’s largest rivers, the Brahmaputra, has in the past flooded large farmlands, villages and towns. a few weeks.

The floodwaters of the Brahmaputra and other rivers furiously reached Bangladesh, a low-lying country of about 170 million people, with heavy rainfall and landslides. destroyed a Rohingya refugee camp that spread overnight last year. torrential rains in 2020 at least a quarter of the country is under water.

In the eastern Sylhet region of the country, nearly two million people were affected by what authorities described as one of the worst floods in recent years.

“We have not seen such widespread flooding in Sylhet in nearly two decades,” SM Shahidul Islam, chief engineer of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, said Sunday.

Stating that the main reason for this situation is heavy rains and increasing flood waters over the Surma River, Islam said that the dams in the region could not contain the flood waters that started to flow into the cities.

At least 10 people died in the area, and many died as a result of drowning when their boat capsized while trying to get to safer areas, authorities said on Sunday. “We are still working to see if there are any more casualties,” said Mosharraf Hossain, senior official in the Sylhet region.

Officials say roads cut by flooding are complicating relief efforts. But the destruction left millions of people with nothing.

“The flood situation in our village in Zakiganj is terrible,” said 29-year-old Mahmudul Hasan, who took shelter in Sylhet with six family members.

Hasan Bey said that the family was not given any food or water. And she said she was constantly worried about her home. “Our house is made of mud,” he explained.

Bangladesh’s government has closed indefinitely around 600 schools and colleges to use as shelters for those who have nowhere to go. Authorities said at least 3,000 hectares of paddy fields were consumed due to the flooding, which is expected to affect the livelihoods of thousands of farmers.

Karan Deep Singh Reported from New Delhi and Seyf Hasnat Reported from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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