Death toll in Bangladesh floods rises to 48 as rainwaters begin to recede

Death toll in Bangladesh floods rises to 48 as rainwaters begin to recede

People in 4 southeastern districts still stranded by floodwaters and require portable water, food as army and civil administration continue relief operations

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - The death toll from monsoon rains and subsequent flooding in southeast Bangladesh has risen to 48, with some people still missing, while authorities said on Friday that floodwaters have begun to recede.

Officials said on Thursday that the floods had affected at least 1.2 million people in four southeastern districts, including Cox's Bazar, Chattogram, Bandarban, and Rangamati, since Monday.

Ten military units have joined to assist civil administration with rescue and relief efforts in flood-ravaged areas, which continued non-stop in the last four days.

Monsoon rains usually occur between June and September every year, affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

Rakib Hasan, a senior official in the Chattogram district, told Anadolu that as of Friday, they have received reports of 15 deaths, with three people still missing.

"Floodwaters have begun to recede, and people are almost leaving temporary shelters and returning to their homes. However, people in many areas are still stranded by floodwaters," he said, adding that "we, with the assistance of army personnel and locals, continue the relief operation as people require potable water and food."

Md Jahangir Alom, a relief and rescue official in Cox's Bazar District, confirmed to Anadolu the deaths of 21 people, including two Rohingya refugees, as a result of rain and flooding since Monday.

In the hilly district of Bandarban, at least 10 people were killed, and nearly 15,000 others were affected by floodwaters that destroyed 3,700 homes.

People need potable water and relief assistance, and the local administration, with the help of the army, is trying to assist them, Commissioner Shah Mujahid Uddin told Anadolu.

Rangamati district relief and rehabilitation officer Md Rokonujjaman told Anadolu that floodwaters are still rising in the district, owing primarily to the swelling of Kaptai Lake, the country's largest man-made lake in the district.

Almost all low-lying areas are still under floodwaters in a record flood in the hilly district. Two children have died and one is missing as of Friday, he added.

"People are still in need of drinking water, food, and the means to rebuild their houses, as 200 homes in Eochiai village in Chattogram district have been completely destroyed, while crop fields, livestock, and fish pounds have been washed away by floodwaters," a local, Mohammed Abu Saleh Eochiai, told Anadolu over the phone.

Abu Saleh, the village's elected representative, said he has never seen such a destructive flood in his 50-year life in the village.

Md. Monowar Hossain, a meteorologist at Bangladesh Meteorological Department, said on Thursday that monsoon rains are likely to continue until August 15, with only a slight improvement expected.

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