New floods hit Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands stranded

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Heavy monsoon rains in northeast and northern parts of Bangladesh have left hundreds of thousands of people stranded, forcing authorities to deploy military troops for evacuation and relief work , official statements and dispatches announced on Saturday.

The army’s inter-service public relations office said on its website that the soldiers were deployed as floods devastated the northeastern districts of Sunamganj and Sylhet, knocking people out of power as thousands houses were flooded.

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

In a statement, the government’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Center in Dhaka, the nation’s capital, said Friday that the water in all major rivers in the country was rising. The country has about 130 rivers.

The center said the flood situation is expected to deteriorate over the next 24 hours in the worst affected districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet in the North Eastern region as well as Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts in the northern Bangladesh.

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

Last month, a pre-monsoon flash flood, triggered by a rush of waters from upstream northeastern Indian states, hit northern and northeastern parts of Bangladesh, destroying crops and causing significant damage homes and the road network. The country was only recovering from the shock, but as this year’s monsoon set in just a few days ago, new rains flooded the same areas again.

Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, is low-lying and faces threats from climate change-related natural disasters such as floods and cyclones. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, around 17% of Bangladesh’s people are expected to be displaced within the next decade if global warming persists at the current rate.

The Associated Press


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