More than 16 million people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh are affected by monsoon floods in one of the most serious crises the region has seen in many years, IFRC reports. So far, floods in those three countries are thought to have killed about 500 people.
"This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods," said Martin Faller, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), on August 18, 2017.
"Millions of people across Nepal, Bangladesh and India face severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood waters," Faller said.
According to local authorities, flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh and flooding in Jamuna has surpassed levels set in 1988, the deadliest floods the country has ever faced.
Faller added that more than one third of Bangladesh and Nepal have been flooded. "We fear the humanitarian crisis will get worse in the days and weeks ahead," he said.
"This tragic flooding in Nepal has claimed at least 128 lives and 33 people are still missing," said Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, Secretary General, Nepal Red Cross Society.
Floods in Bangladesh are likely to get much worse there as swollen rivers from India pour into the low-lying and densely populated areas in the north and center of the country.
The water levels of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries have gone down but 11 more deaths in Assam took the flood toll since the start of the monsoon season to 150 on Friday, August 18. Rail connectivity between the Northeast and the rest of India remained cut for the seventh consecutive day, The Indian Express reports.
Of the 150 deaths so far, 60 have occurred in the second wave of floods that began on August 10. Of the 60 deaths in the second wave, 12 were reported from Morigaon, nine each in Kokrajhar and Dhubri and seven in Bongaigaon.
As of August 18, the death toll in Bihar floods, triggered by rains in Nepal and northern parts of the state, rose to 153. 9.8 million people there have been affected.
Monsoon floods hit this region every year, but this one has been particularly severe.
Meteorologists warn more heavy rain will hit the region in the days ahead.
Featured image: Severe monsoon floods in Assam, India - August 2017
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