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Floods leave 15,000 in Bangladesh stranded

Three children dead and toll is set to rise

Floods leave 15,000 in Bangladesh stranded

People attempt to escape floods in Thakurgaon district reporter, Dhaka

July 8, 2013

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Torrential rain over the past three days has triggered devastating floods in Bangladesh's northwestern Thakurgaon district, killing three children and leaving around 15,000 villagers homeless.

The disaster occurred on Sunday night when the River Tangon, swollen by rainwater, burst a dam and inundated 15 villages. Villagers were asleep and had little chance to salvage their belongings.

While several thousands of flood victims have taken shelter at a college in Thakurgaon district town, many have made their way to the uplands.

“I lost everything in the flooding. Just 15 days from now my daughter should get married. But the wedding presents, including clothes, bed and a TV, are under water,” said Pashan Ali, 46, a rickshaw puller, who is now living rough with his four-member family after flooding ravaged his home.

“Some young people from local clubs rescued us and gave food to my family,” Ali added.

Babul Hossain, a municipal councilor at Thakurgaon, said: “I’ve visited the flood-hit area and seen extensive damage in villages. We are trying to relocate villagers to a government college here.”

Firefighters and civil defense personnel were working to rescue several thousand people still trapped in flooded villages, he added.

“Dried food have been sent to people as part of aid efforts,” Mukesh Chandra Biswas, deputy commissioner, told “We are trying to get an idea about how hard villagers have been hit and then we will offer them further relief materials including clothes and money.”

Some desperate villagers clashed with police today, allegedly for being stopped from entering the Thakurgaon Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in order to find shelter.

“Water Resource minister Ramesh Chandra Sen is scheduled to have a meeting with district officials today. So we couldn’t let people enter the academy,” said a police official, adding that they have ordered people to take shelter at Thakurgaon Government College for now.

Floods kill hundreds each year in low lying Bangladesh, which is located on the world’s largest river delta system.

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