world climate

A Third of Bangladesh Is Under Water. These Photos Show the Extent of the Floods.

Four million people have been affected in what is believed to be the country's "worst flood in a decade."
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photos by AFP
15 July 2020, 12:32pm
south asia floods bangladesh
A woman holding a child walks through flooded waters in Sunamgong on July 14, 2020. Almost four million people have been hit by monsoon floods in South Asia. All photos by Munir Uzzaman / AFP

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Officials of the Bangladesh government say the second flood of the ongoing rainy season has engulfed a third of the country. The flooding occurred during the three-month monsoon season in the region—starting June—which severely impacts the region every year. These floods, the authorities said, might just be the worst in a long time.

The country's National Disaster Response Coordination Centre (NDRCC) reported that around 1.3 million of the country’s 160 million people are affected in 20 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. Over 280,000 are marooned in floodwaters.

flood bangladesh disaster

Aerial shot of inundated houses in Sunamgong district in Bangladesh on July 14. Many people had returned to rebuild their submerged homes after the first floods last month. The second wave destroyed them completely.

Authorities are reporting that around 14 rivers across the country are flowing above danger levels. They will continue to rise in the coming days, which will worsen the situation.

Heavy rains led to overflowing of the country’s two main Himayalan rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, which flow through India and Bangladesh. "This is going to be the worst flood in a decade," Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, Bangladesh's Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre chief, told news agency AFP.

This is the second flood this monsoon season. The first one this year occurred between June 26 and July 7, during which many were moved to shelters.

Since July 13, Monday, new areas in northern, northeastern and central Bangladesh have reportedly been affected. The low-lying areas of the country are considered the most vulnerable to climate change, including frequent flooding.

bangladesh floods

People making their way through floodwaters in Sunamgong, Bangladesh. Md Enamur Rahman, the Bangladesh State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, said at least 23 districts were predicted to experience the second wave of floods.

In 2019, severe floods in Bangladesh displaced 800,000 people and killed at least 60 in the country. In a survey with around 700 flood-affected families by Transparency International Bangladesh, nine-tenths of the people said they were not warned by the government at least 24 hours before the disaster hit them.

flooding bangladesh

Many climate change scientists attributed the intensity and frequency of flooding in South Asia to climate change.

In the meantime, the US-based Human Rights Watch appealed to the Bangladesh government to move over 300 Rohingya refugees out of a small flood-prone island called Bhashan Char, located off the southern coast.

The refugees were sent there to quarantine because of COVID-19.

The second wave of floods also severely impacted India, where 2.1 million people across 27 districts have been affected. In Nepal, the Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology reported 54 deaths due to landslides caused by the heavy rains, while another 54 were missing.

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