Bangladesh flood toll rises to 22


Dhaka : At least eight people died Monday in floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rain across Bangladesh taking the toll to 22 in the past one week, officials said.

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About 20 million people have been stranded in the paddy growing regions of Rangpur region in the north as the two main rivers, Ganges and Brahmaputra, flooded the villages.

Of the eight killed Monday, six drowned in the swirling waters in the worst-hit northern Sirajganj district. Two others were killed by mudslides caused by erosion of the banks by the river Teesta in the north.

The army has been called out to assist police and civilian rescuers in facing the challenge posed by the monsoon cloudbursts in over 30 districts covering almost half the country.

"Our soldiers are working without any break delivering food, water and medicine in the submerged areas," said Colonel Firoze Rahim who coordinated relief distribution among hungry and homeless families.

Rahim said thousands were living on embankments in the eastern Feni district while others took refuge in the few available flood shelters.

Torrents cascading down the bordering Indian Assam hills inundated rice terraces in the flood-hit north-eastern Sylhet region in Bangladesh, forcing nearly 15,000 people to flee their homes.

The Met Office has warned of the monsoon dumping more rain in the southern districts, flooding businesses, transports and farms.

Rainstorms battered the rivers around the capital Dhaka at the weekend, threatening floods in the densely populated city.