An estimated 7.2 million people have been affected and are in desperate need of shelter and emergency relief after heavy monsoon rains hit Bangladesh, causing record-breaking floods.
From early June, torrential rain and upstream water have completely submerged around 94% of the town of Sunamganj and 84% of Sylhet districts, in northeastern Bangladesh, bordering the Meghalaya state of India.1
Parts of Meghalaya have experienced the highest amount of rainfall in decades, which has led to the overflowing of large river systems running between India and Bangladesh and completely swallowing surrounding areas.
“We have never seen this sort of flooding in our living memories in that region,” said Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Secretary General Kazi Shofiqul Azam.
“Hundreds of thousands of people took refuge as their houses went under water and almost all their neighborhoods inundated. Large parts of Sunamganj and Sylhet were completely cut off due to severe disruption of road communication and power cuts.”
“Within just a month, Sylhet and Sunamganj have been flooded and the scale of devastation this time is so much more than the previous ones. We are scaling up our operations alongside Bangladesh Red Crescent due the urgency of the situation,” IFRC Head of Bangladesh Country Delegation Sanjeev Kafley said.
As predicted, the cumulative amount of rain exceeded 122 years record in NE Bangladesh area and it is worse than the 1998 and 2004 floods as it struck at a time when the people were recovering from the earlier flood that hit in late May, it swept away homes and inundated farmlands, forcing families to seek shelter on higher ground.2
The conditions inside evacuation shelters are challenging with overcrowding, disruption to power supplies leading to lack of lighting, insufficient safe spaces for women and children as well as damage to the water supplies, latrines and other sanitation facilities which are inadequate for the sheltering population.
1 Millions in Bangladesh impacted by one of the worst floodings ever seen – IFRC – June 28, 2022
2 UNICEF Bangladesh Humanitarian Situation Report No. 4 (North-eastern Flood) – June 28, 2022
Featured image credit: Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS)
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