Positive Environment News

Thousands Flee Homes as Fresh Floods Hit Bangladesh

Date: 10-Sep-07
Country: BANGLADESH

Weather officials said that nearly 20 of the country's 64
districts were flooded after three days of rain swelled major
rivers flowing through India into Bangladesh.

The rains have also triggered fresh floods in the Indian
states of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya
and Arunachal Pradesh, the officials said.

Thousands of Bangladeshi families that returned to
devastated homes after the previous flood had receded in most
areas were forced to flee again, disaster management officials
said.

Witnesses in the northern Gaibandha district said many
people had headed to highways and embankments for safety, while
others had taken refuge on boats or on the roofs of houses.

The floods covered vast areas in the country's northeast
and southern areas, disrupting communications and, with rains
continuing on Sunday, more areas were expected to be engulfed.

The fresh floods inundated newly planted rice and other
crops on more than a million hectares.

"The previous floods washed away my house, cattles and
crops ... but I had started to piece life together," Gaibandha
villager Shahed Ali told reporters. "I managed to replant some
seedlings but they have been destroyed again."

Floods kill hundreds of people and wreck the lives of many
more in Bangladesh every year, but this year's deluge has been
the worst since 2004 when floods killed more than 3,000 people.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) in Dhaka
said worse could lie ahead because the annual monsoon was still
very active in the Ganges, Meghna, and Brahmaputra river
basins.

"Experience shows that the floods of late August or
September last longer," said FFWC head Saiful Hossain.

The meteorological department forecast heavy to very heavy
rain in various parts of the country over the next 24-48
hours.

Reuters
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