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Flooding death toll tops 100

Hundreds of thousands of people left stranded, officials say

Flooding death toll tops 100
Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in Bangladesh
by reporter, Dhaka

June 28, 2012

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At least 100 people have died and more than a quarter of a million people left stranded after some of the worst monsoon downpours in years, authorities said yesterday. “Heavy rainfall, high tides and runoff from hills have inundated many areas in seven districts. Scores have died in floodwaters, in landslides or been struck by lightning,” said Relief and Rehabilitation Department director general Zahurul Haque. Officials say 23 people died in Chittagong, the country’s second largest city, 38 people were confirmed dead in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, while 38 victims were recorded in Cox’s Bazar district. At least 100 people were still missing, they added The government has allocated 2.6 million taka (US$ 31,700) and 219 metric tons of grain for flood victims and relief efforts are ongoing in many areas, he added. Heavy monsoon rains have lashed the low-lying country over the past week washing away hundreds of homes. “We recorded 463 millimeters of rain in just 24 hours which is the highest in years,” said Bazlur Hossain, an official at the Meteorological Department. He said further rain is forecast over the next few days. Around the country, floodwater has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and cut road and rail links between Dhaka and Chittagong -- the country’s second largest city -- in the southeast, while links with Sylhet, a major city in the northeast also remain cut.. Disaster control officials said around 150,000 people had been hit by the floods in the southeast while 100,000 people have ben stranded in northern districts. Relief supplies from the government and NGOs are getting through to some areas but many victims say they are still awaiting aid. “I’ve been forced to stay on the tin-roof of my flooded house with my three children,” said Forkan Akhter, a flood victim from Anwara sub-district in Chittagong. “We have run out of food and there is no sign of any aid yet,” she said today. Anwarul Haque from Sunamgonj district in the northeast said his house has been devastated by flooding and high winds. “We have no home, no food and we are worried because there has been no help so far,” he said. Bangladesh, which lies on the world’s largest river delta, is frequently hit by floods that kill hundreds every year. Related reports Rains claim 67 lives, dozens missing Caritas Bangladesh seek support for flood victims    
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