Floods in Bangladesh: Crisis in South East and North East
June 30, 2012
At least 110 people have died in heavy monsoon rains in southeast and northeast Bangladesh, including four participants of CARE’s SHOUHARDO program. The majority of victims were children, who were killed mainly in landslides, or trapped under collapsed walls.
It could not be independently verified how many people were injured or missing in the South East, but at least 200 people have been reported injured in Chittagong. The rescue operation is ongoing through the fire brigade. Although it did not rain on June 28, 110,000 people are still trapped in flooded areas or displaced, including 40,000 families in Cox’s Bazaar. Much of the Chittagong city is affected by flash-flood, shutting both rail and air communication with the rest of the country. The activities at the port are also being hampered by the rough weather. The Chittagong Hill Tracts have also reported major damages to their summer crops.
Flooding took a critical turn in the North East. Sylhet, Sunamganj and Kurigram were submerged by the continuous onrush of water from hills, marooning more than 1,070,000 people, leaving several homeless as their earthen houses were washed away by the floodwater. In the low lying Char regions of Kurigram- people are stranded in boats and are trying to find shelter on higher grounds. The flood has damaged the seed beds for their next crop. In Sylhet, more than 100,000 day-labourers at stone quarries became jobless as Bholaganj, Jaflong and Lobhachhara quarries have not operated since June 26, after the quarries were submerged by floodwaters. Road communications between Sylhet city and other surrounding districts remained suspended.
CARE, with more than 60 years’ experience of working with the people of Bangladesh, is prepared to respond and is collaborating closely with other agencies to conduct a rapid needs assessment in the affected areas, in order to determine the scale and nature of needs. The main areas affected are the S. East districts of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar and Bandorbon; and the N. Eastern districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Kurigram.
According to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre and the Bangladesh Water Development Board, the river systems will continue to rise in the next 24 to 48 hours. As the flood situation may deteriorate in Kurigram, Sylhet and Sunamganj area, concerned CARE field offices remain in high alert.
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