At least 62 people dead in Bangladesh and India after floods leave millions stranded

World

Dozens of people have died and millions of homes are underwater following huge floods in north-eastern India and Bangladesh.

At least 59 people have been killed according to the AFP news agency.

Lightning storms have killed at least 21 people in Bangladesh, while the remainder were lost to floods, lightning and landslides in India, the agency reported.

Troops were called in to rescue thousands of people stranded by floods which have severed transport links, authorities said on Saturday.

While floods in Bangladesh are regular, experts say climate change is increasing their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability.

In India’s Assam state, two million people have seen their homes submerged in flood waters since Thursday, the state’s disaster management agency said.

The Brahmaputra – one of Asia’s largest rivers – breached its mud embankments, inundating 3,000 villages and croplands in 28 of Assam’s 33 districts.

More on Bangladesh

On Saturday, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was praying for the safety of people affected by the floods.

Meanwhile India’s Meghalaya state’s chief minister Conrad Sangma tweeted that authorities were inspecting damage caused by landslides in the north-eastern state.

Water levels in all major rivers across Bangladesh are rising, according to the flood forecasting and warning centre in Dhaka, the nation’s capital.

The flood-prone country has about 130 rivers.

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Millions of homes under water in India and Bangladesh

The flooding in Bangladesh, described by a government expert as potentially the country’s worst since 2004, was exacerbated by the runoff from heavy rain across Indian mountains.

Last month, a pre-monsoon flash flood, triggered by a rush of water from upstream in India’s north-eastern states, hit Bangladesh’s northern and north-eastern regions, destroying crops and damaging homes and roads.

The country was just starting to recover when fresh rains flooded the same areas again this week.

Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, is low-lying and faces threats from natural disasters such as floods and cyclones, made worse by climate change.

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