Flash floods triggered by monsoon kill dozens and displace lakhs in North East India, Bangladesh

The Brahmaputra river that flows from the Himalayas down to India and Bangladesh, has burst its banks, causing floods in more than 1,500 villages in Assam.

Reuters June 19, 2018 18:40:56 IST
Flash floods triggered by monsoon kill dozens and displace lakhs in North East India, Bangladesh

Dhaka/Guwahati: Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in South Asia have killed dozens of people and displaced more than a million, mostly in North East India and Bangladesh, authorities said on Tuesday.

Flash floods triggered by monsoon kill dozens and displace lakhs in North East India Bangladesh

Flood affected villagers are transported in a boat to a safer place in Assam. Reuters

The Brahmaputra river, which flows from the Himalayas down to India and then through Bangladesh, has burst its banks, swamping more than 1,500 villages in Assam in the past week.

“The flood situation remains critical,” Assam’s water resources minister Keshab Mahanta told Reuters, referring to at least 10 of the state’s 32 districts.

“The weather office is forecasting more rain and thundershowers in the next 48 hours,” Mahanta further said, adding that the state was on maximum alert and the army had put helicopters on standby in case they were needed for rescues.

The floods have killed nearly 20 people and displaced about 8,00,000 in the Indian states of Assam, Tripura and Manipur. The water level in the Brahmaputra is expected to rise until the end of the week and then level off, in the absence of more heavy rain, India’s Central Water Commission said.

Downstream in Bangladesh, 11 people have been killed and more than 2,50,000 have been displaced or affected by the flooding, officials said. Last week, landslides and other mishaps triggered by rains killed at least 12 people in southeast Bangladesh, including two Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar living in camps near the border.

The camps, thrown up after an estimated 7,00,000 Rohingyas fled from a Myanmar military crackdown on insurgents that began last August, are believed to be particularly vulnerable to storms in the rainy season, which has just begun.

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