Floods in Bangladesh kill 36, spread waterborne diseases

Flood affected people queue in knee-deep flood waters to collect food relief following heavy monsoon rainfalls in Sunamganj on June 21. Photo: AFP

DHAKA: Floods that swept across most of Bangladesh’s low-lying areas due to heavy rains have killed at least 36 people and spread waterborne diseases in the affected regions, with calls mounting for food and potable water, reported Anadolu Agency.

The deaths were mainly due to diarrhea, snake bites, drowning, landslides and other injuries, according to the Health Emergency Operation Centre and Control Room of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The dead include 18 in the northeastern Sylhet administrative division, 15 in the north-central Mymensingh division and three in the northern Rangpur division, it said late Tuesday, adding that over 3,000 people have been infected by various waterborne diseases due to floods in four parts of the country from June 18 to 21, including 382 in the past few hours.

The situation in Bangladesh has worsened due to the heavy rains and an onrush of water from the hills across the borders in India, affecting at least 13 districts out of the 64 that have been submerged.

Bangladesh has also started facing a humanitarian crisis in flood-affected areas.

Government agencies are working on a priority basis to send food and potable water. The army, navy and members of the air force have joined the effort.

Floodwaters have also damaged 56,000 hectares of paddy fields in the Sylhet administrative division alone while agricultural goods and seeds in other regions have been damaged, including in the Rangpur division.

“Farmers will not be able to recover from the damage if the flooding is prolonged,” said Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque.

The floods have caused extensive damage to roads and rail lines. The Bangladesh Railway Engineering Department said Tuesday that the floodwaters were slowly moving out from the submerged railway lines.

However, if the floods are prolonged, the situation will worsen further, according to state-owned Bangladesh Railway. – BERNAMA

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