Flooding in India and Bangladesh kills at least 116

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Heavy monsoon rains in India and Bangladesh have flooded an airport and knocked down cellphone towers, bridges and power lines, cutting off communications for millions of people and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

At least 116 people have been killed in the flooding and lightning strikes, as well as in landslides, which have made rescue operations even more difficult, according to officials.

This latest catastrophic flooding comes less than a month after extreme rainfall submerged towns.

On Monday, officials in Assam, a state in northeastern India bordering Bangladesh, said all the state’s 33 districts were affected by the floods, which they blamed for undoing almost a decade of progress on building infrastructure connecting far-flung towns and villages.

At least 73 people have died as a result of the disaster in the state, according to news reports.

In the neighboring state of Meghalaya, extremely heavy rainfall pummeled the towns of Cherrapunji and Mawsynram.

On Friday, Mawsynram recorded about 101cm of rainfall in a single day. In the Dangar area nearby, at least five people in one family were killed in a landslide Monday, Conrad Sangma, the state’s chief minister, said on Twitter.

The record-shattering rain in the state has also led to extensive flooding across the border in Bangladesh.

“We haven’t seen such rainfall in many, many years,” said Professor Tarekul Islam at the Institute of Water and Flood Management, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Prof Islam said the heavy rainfall flooded the country’s Sylhet region, one of the worst affected since last month, when the floodwaters of the Brahmaputra and other rivers broke their banks and inundated large parts of the low-lying nation of about 170 million people.

Since the May flooding, more than 4 million people in northeastern Bangladesh have been left homeless, including 1.6 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a news release Monday.

At least 38 people have died in Bangladesh because of the latest flooding, according to the Foundation for Disaster Forum, a Dhaka-based nonprofit working to provide food and shelter to people in Sylhet.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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