Hundreds of thousands flee Bangladesh floods

Hundreds of thousands of villagers fled their homes Monday as flash floods caused by monsoon rains and glacial snowmelt inundated large swathes of northern Bangladesh, officials said.

Hundreds of thousands flee Bangladesh floods

Hundreds of thousands of villagers fled their homes Monday as flash floods caused by monsoon rains and glacial snowmelt inundated large swathes of northern Bangladesh, officials said.

At least 675,000 villagers were forced to move to temporary shelters or seek higher ground as rivers burst their banks and flooded 24 of the country's 64 districts, disaster management secretary Dhiraj Malakar said.

"The flood situation in northern Bangladesh has been aggravated overnight. Water levels of both the Ganges and the Brahmaputra have increased, inundating vast new areas," he said.

Malakar said thousands of military, government and volunteer groups were mobilised to evacuate people and distribute food, relief and medical aid to those affected by the disaster.

The state-owned BSS news agency said at least three more people died from snakebites and drowning at the weekend, taking the reported death toll from the floods to 13.

The government's flood forecasting and warning centre said the situation could worsen as the two major Himalayan-fed rivers have continued to swell and were set to inundate the country's central regions within a day or two.

Last month, landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 126 people in the southeastern city of Chittagong on the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh is criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers and suffers annual floods with at least a fifth of the country submerged each year.

In July and August 2004, flooding killed more than 700 people and 38 percent of the country was under water, forcing millions to flee their homes.

AFP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2007, 12:04
YORUM EKLE