Bangladesh floods wreak havoc, 48 lives lost

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A boat carrying religious pilgrims capsised in Bangladesh on September 25, 2022. CNN
A boat carrying religious pilgrims capsised in Bangladesh on September 25, 2022. CNN

In the wake of relentless monsoon rains and subsequent flooding, the death toll in southeastern Bangladesh has risen to 48, with a number of individuals still reported missing. 

Authorities confirmed on Friday that floodwaters have finally begun to recede, offering a glimmer of hope to the flood-ravaged region. 

Since Monday, at least 1.2 million people across four southeastern districts – Cox's Bazar, Chattogram, Bandarban, and Rangamati – have been severely affected by the floods, which have left thousands stranded and numerous homes destroyed. Among the casualties, two Rohingya refugees were tragically among the deceased.

In a concerted effort to provide aid and support, ten military units have joined hands with civil administration to conduct rescue and relief operations. The past four days have seen non-stop efforts to reach affected communities and deliver essential supplies.

Rakib Hasan, a senior official in Chattogram district, reported that while the waters are slowly receding, several areas remain marooned by floodwaters. He emphasised the ongoing necessity for potable water and sustenance for the affected populace. "We, with the assistance of army personnel and locals, continue the relief operation as people require potable water and food," Hasan said.

The district of Bandarban, nestled in the hills, witnessed 10 fatalities and around 15,000 residents grappling with the aftermath of the floods. The deluge managed to destroy 3,700 homes, leaving families without shelter.

As the country's largest man-made lake, Kaptai Lake in Rangamati district played a significant role in the flooding, causing water levels to surge. Even now, floodwaters persist in low-lying areas, exacerbating the crisis. The situation has led to the destruction of homes, crops, livestock, and fish pounds, leaving the locals in dire need.

With meteorologists predicting monsoon rains until August 15, the challenge for relief and rescue teams remains daunting.