More than 2 million people stranded by floods in Bangladesh

More than 2 million people stranded by floods in Bangladesh

Monsoon rains and upstream river waters from India have caused widespread flooding in northeastern Bangladesh, leaving more than 2 million people stranded, and the situation could get worse, officials said Friday. The United Nations children's agency UNICEF said residents trapped in the region, including more than 772 children, were in urgent need of help.

Current flood situation in Bangladesh

Northeastern Bangladesh is currently facing flooding devastating effects caused by monsoon rains and river waters from India. More than 2 million people are stranded, and the situation could deteriorate further according to weather forecasts.

Impact on children and infrastructure

THEUNICEF highlighted that more than 772 children are particularly vulnerable, at increased risks of drowning, malnutrition, deadly water-borne diseases, displacement-related trauma and potential abuse in overcrowded shelters. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF representative in Bangladesh, expressed concerns about the dangers these children face.

Weather Forecasts and Additional Risks

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department forecasts further heavy rains in the coming days, which could worsen flooding and cause landslides in mountainous areas. At least 10 people, including eight Rohingya Muslims, were killed on Wednesday after monsoon rains triggered landslides in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.

Economic and agricultural consequences

The large areas of submerged land pose a significant threat to crops if floodwaters persist for a prolonged period, Agriculture Department officials said. The floods also caused significant damage to infrastructure, with more than 810 government schools flooded in Sylhet division and nearly 500 used as flood shelters. Nearly 140 community clinics were also overwhelmed, disrupting essential health services.

Comparison with historical floods

Sylhet resident Shameem Chowdhury expressed fear that this disaster could be as devastating as the 2022 floods, the region's worst in 122 years. Television images show widespread flooding in fields and villages, with residents wading through knee-deep water in the town of Sylhet as water levels in the region's four rivers rise dangerously.

Climate change and vulnerability

A 2015 analysis by the World Bank Institute estimated that about 3,5 million people in Bangladesh, one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, were at risk of annual river flooding. Scientists attribute the worsening of such catastrophic events to climate change.

For more information on the current flood situation in Bangladesh, check out this comprehensive article from Hindustan Times.

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