South Asia floods displace millions, kill 550

News Desk
22 July 2020, Wed
Published: 11:13

South Asia floods displace millions, kill 550

More than 9.6 million people across South Asia have been affected by severe floods, with hundreds of thousands struggling to get food and medicine, officials and aid organizations said Wednesday, reports The Diplomat.

About 550 people have died in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, while millions have been displaced from their homes since the flooding began last month, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, or IFRC.

The organization warned of a humanitarian crisis, saying that close to one-third of Bangladesh has already been flooded, with more flooding expected in the coming weeks. It said that 2.8 million people have been affected and that more than 1 million are isolated.

In India, over 6.8 million people have been affected by the flooding, mainly in the northern states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, and Meghalaya bordering Bangladesh, the IFRC said, citing official figures. 

In India’s northeastern state of Assam alone, some 2.5 million people were affected and at least 113 have died, authorities said.

M.S. Manivannan, head of Assam’s Disaster Management Authority, said many rivers were still flowing above the danger level.

More than 100 animals, mostly deer, have died in floods that have submerged Kaziranga National Park, 225 kilometers (139 miles) east of the state capital, Gauhati. More rain is expected in the next few days. 

In Bangladesh, experts say this year’s monsoon is going to last longer than usual because more waters are expected to rush in from upstream India, which shares 53 common rivers with downstream Bangladesh. 

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, the executive engineer at the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center, said floodwaters were not expected to start receding before the second week of August. 

In Kurigram, one of the worst affected districts in northern Bangladesh, thousands of people took shelter at higher ground, leaving their homes and belongings behind.