NurPhoto/Syed Mahamudur Rahman via Getty Images In Sylhet, there was a flood.
New Delhi, India — Floods, lightning strikes, and landslides have killed at least 114 people in Bangladesh and northeastern India in the last week, as torrential monsoon rains flooded dozens of districts in both countries.
The fatal storm, which is one of the deadliest to hit the region in decades, comes nearly two years after similar floods in the two countries killed over 1,000 people.
Mobile phone towers and electricity lines have been knocked down, and roads and bridges have been washed away, making relief and rescue efforts impossible.
Mosharraf Hossain, a government official in the Sylhet district, claimed, “We have evacuated more than 300,000 individuals who were marooned.” “Many of them have lost their tin and bamboo homes.”
The death toll in Assam, India’s northeastern state, has risen to 82, with 11 additional people killed on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the death toll in Bangladesh has risen to 32.
Floods have harmed at least 4.8 million people across Assam’s 32 districts, which are mountainous. More than 231,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas and placed in over 1,000 makeshift relief camps by military, federal, and state disaster management teams.
According to local media accounts, the cost of the floods is similar in Bangladesh, where flooding has affected over 6 million people. The hardest-hit areas in the north of the country are Sylhet, Sunamganj, and Netrokona, where roads and highways have been swamped, effectively cutting them off from the rest of the country. Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, conducted an airborne inspection of the flood-affected districts and instructed her administration to drop food packs in inaccessible places.
Forecasters have warned that more heavy rain is on the way in the Himalayan region, which could cause rivers to overflow and worsen the floods.
“Four million people, including 1.6 million children, stranded by flash floods… are in urgent need of help,” UNICEF said in a statement, requesting $2.5 million to respond to the situation in Bangladesh.
“UNICEF has already delivered 400,000 water purification pills, enough to provide clean water to 80,000 households for a week,” according to the statement.
Floods are widespread in northeastern India and portions of Bangladesh, which are located in the foothills of the Himalayas, where monsoon rains bring torrential rains from June to October, swelling rivers and causing them to overflow.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, claim that climate change is making extreme weather events such as flooding and heat waves in South Asia more common, intense, and unpredictable.
While much of India was experiencing a record-breaking heat wave last month, floods and mudslides in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh killed hundreds of people and destroyed crops. And it wasn’t even monsoon season yet.
Climate change and the early monsoon, according to experts, are inextricably linked. The weather patterns have been altered by a warmer climate, which has increased the time and amount of rainfall.
According to Anjal Prakash, a climate scientist and lead researcher with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “studies have indicated that the Himalayan region’s rainfall patterns have been altering, resulting to unpredictable weather.” “A wetter climate has been forecast for the region as a result of climate change.”