After heavy rain and flooding, millions of people in parts of Bangladesh and India have been cut off from the outside world. At least 57 people died from the water masses, as the authorities in both countries announced on Saturday. In the north-east of Bangladesh alone, two million people are isolated as a result of the worst flooding in almost 20 years.
According to the head of the Sylhet region, more than 100 villages were flooded in Bangladesh’s Zakiganj district after the Barak River, which flows from northeastern India, breached a seawall. According to him, at least ten people died during the week.
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According to the local civil protection authorities, at least 47 people died in India as a result of storms, floods and landslides – 14 of them alone in the state of Assam, which borders Bangladesh. According to official figures, at least 33 people died in storms in the Indian state of Bihar on Thursday. The heavy rain, which was unusual for the time of year, damaged hundreds of hectares of crops and thousands of fruit trees. Bihar had also suffered from a heat wave this week with temperatures reaching 40 degrees.
British broadcaster BBC reports online that in Zakiganj, people are fishing on flooded streets, while other residents are trying to get their livestock to safety. Bus driver Shamim Ahmed, 50, told the BBC: “My house is waist-deep in water. There is no drinking water, we collect rainwater. The rain is both a blessing and a curse for us now.”