Bangladesh says 900,000 people affected by floods

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Dhaka, July 5 (IANS) Devastating flooding in parts of Bangladesh has affected some 900,000 people and displaced thousands of families, officials said on Wednesday.

According to Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Secretary Shah Kamal, authorities had already rushed disaster response teams to carry out rescue work, distribute relief materials and supervise centres where nearly 2,000 families took shelter.

“Some 900,000 people were affected due to floods in three districts,” Kamal told Xinhua news agency.

He said the affected districts include Sylhet and Moulvibazar in northeastern Bangladesh and Cox’s Bazar in the country’s southeast.

Floods triggered by heavy seasonal rains and onrush of water had caused widespread damage to habitation, crops, roads and highways across vast areas of the country.

In many places, the floods eroded large portions of villages, agricultural land and washed away buildings. Hundreds of educational institutes were also shut down.

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Authorities evacuated residents of hundreds of villages to higher ground in the districts that were prone to torrential rains between June and September.

A flood monitoring centre in Dhaka said people in flood-affected villages in the country’s northeast and southeastern regions were marooned as their homes went under up to waist high water.

TV footage on Wednesday showed the residents wading through flooded roads or on boats in search of shelter or a dry ground to live temporarily. Officials said that no disaster-related deaths from injuries or illness were listed so far.

Among the 90 monitored water level stations, water levels at seven monitored river stations were flowing above their respective danger marks while 65 river stations showed rising trend.

Apart from the government, local and foreign organisations were also extending support to Bangladeshi flood victims.

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