Floods in Bangladesh and north-eastern India have left millions of homes underwater and at least 18 people dead.
Both countries have requested military assistance to deal with the deluge. Officials fear that the situation could get worse with more rain expected for the weekend.
Police officials stated that at least 15 people were struck by lightning in Bangladesh on Friday. Four people were also killed in landslides.
Flooding in Bangladesh was caused by heavy rains that poured across Indian mountains. This expert said it could be the worst flooding since 2004.
According to the state disaster management agency, nine people were killed in floods in Assam, India. Two million more saw their homes submerged by floodwaters.
One of Asia’s most powerful rivers, the Brahmaputra, flooded its mud embankments and inundated 3,000 villages in 28 of Assam’s 33 districts.
“The volume and intensity of the rainfall has been unimaginable,” Sanjay O’Neil (a meteorological station official in Gauhati), Assam’s capital, stated. “We expect moderate-to heavy rainfall in many parts of Assam until Sunday.”
Incessant rains ravaged India for five days straight and caused several cancellations of train services. Flood waters submerged Halfong railway station, in southern Assam. They also deposited mud and silt on the tracks.
India’s army was asked to assist other disaster response agencies in rescuing stranded persons and providing food and essentials for those whose homes are under water.
An army official stated that speedboats are being used to rescue flood-hit residents.
Nearly 6 million people have been displaced by flooding caused by the monsoon rains in these two countries.
Districts near the Indian border in low-lying Bangladesh have been most affected.
According to Dhaka’s flood warning and forecasting centre, water levels are rising in all major rivers in the country. There are 130 rivers in the flood-prone country.
According to the centre, flooding will likely worsen in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts in the northeastern region, as well in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts in northern Bangladesh.
According to Hafiz Ahmed, Osmani International Airport, Sylhet, flights have been grounded for three days because floodwaters are almost reaching the runway.
Bangladesh experiences a long, wet monsoon season. It also endures tropical storms that are generated in the Bay of Bengal’s warm waters.
As human activity heats up our planet, south Asia is experiencing hotter summers, higher rivers, and more flooding during monsoons. These events are also becoming less frequent.
Weather disruptions can have devastating effects on crop yields as well as disease. WaterAid, a charity, has warned that contamination of water can lead to severe disease outbreaks.
“Water and sanitation facilities are going to be destroyed, washed away,” WaterAid’s acting Country Director Hossain Adib said about “some of the most severe flooding in decades.”
As latrines and toilets overflow, clean water can be contaminated, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks. He called for better access to clean water.
The IPCC, a United Nations climate science group, estimates that Bangladeshi residents would have to relocate in the next ten years if global warming continues to accelerate due to rising sea levels.