Monday 8 July 2024 - 09:31

Millions Affected As Massive Floods Sweeps Through South Asia

Story Code : 1146468
Millions Affected As Massive Floods Sweeps Through South Asia
In recent days, widespread flooding has swept through parts of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, impacting millions of people and resulting in numerous fatalities.

Large-scale rescue operations are underway, with authorities moving thousands to shelters and delivering food and supplies to stranded families.

Major rivers, including the Brahmaputra and the Koshi, have overflowed their banks due to heavy rain.

Floods and landslides are common during South Asia's monsoon season, which accounts for up to 90% of the region's annual rainfall, but experts say climate change has exacerbated the problem in recent years.

In Nepal, authorities reported that 14 people have died since Thursday, with key highways blocked and bridges swept away by swollen rivers.

Officials estimate that more than 40 people have died so far this monsoon season and have urged residents in the southeast to remain vigilant as the Koshi river, flowing through Nepal and India, is above the danger level.

"This is not new for us, but the timing is wrong," said Kathmandu resident Rajkumar Bk to Reuters.

"The flooding triggered by heavy rains started early this year, in July. The water level has reached up to our knees. If the rainfall continues the same way, then we will have to run for our lives."

In India's Assam state, approximately 2.4 million people have been affected by floods, with 66 fatalities since mid-May.

Officials warned of more rain, predicting water levels in the Brahmaputra to rise in the coming days.

Roads and vast areas of farmland along the banks of the Brahmaputra and other rivers have been submerged.

Television images have shown villagers salvaging belongings and leaving their inundated homes by boat.

Several bridges and roads have been washed away, disconnecting remote villages.

Assam's Kaziranga nature reserve, home to nearly 2,200 one-horned rhinos, is also underwater.

Four rhinos and numerous deer and other animals have died so far, with experts labeling it one of the worst incidents of flooding in recent years for wildlife.

On Monday, officials closed some schools in Mumbai as heavy rains overwhelmed highways.

In Bangladesh, authorities reported that two million people have been affected by floods, with at least eight deaths.

The overflowing Brahmaputra has inundated a quarter of the country's districts.

"We live with floods here. But this year, the water was very high. In three days, the Brahmaputra rose by 6ft to 8ft (2m-2.5m)," local councillor Abdul Gafur told AFP.

"We are trying to deliver food, especially rice and edible oil. But there is a drinking water crisis."

The UN's World Meteorological Organization predicts "above normal" rainfall for the South Asia monsoon season, expected to last until September.