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Flash floods in Bangladesh wash away thousands of homes


Dhaka : Tropical rain lashed northern Bangladesh Sunday unleashing flash floods which washed away scores of villages, disaster management bureau sources said.

The flooding rivers drowned at least six fishermen while five were missing in the rampaging waters.

Five districts in the northern region were stricken by floods which isolated more than 100,000 people in submerged villages.

Bangladeshi engineers have blamed the monsoon deluge on authorities in neighbouring India for allegedly opening the gates of the Teesta dam to ease the pressure of water on a costly irrigation project.

A spokesman for the Flood Forecasting and Monitoring Centre in the capital Dhaka said the released water boosted the levels in at least half a dozen downstream rivers in Bangladesh including the Dharala, Brahmaputra and Teesta.

The six fishermen were killed in northern Gaibandha district when their trawler was smashed in the waves.

Rescuers said the efforts to trace the missing fishermen were hampered by continuing heavy rains.

More than 20,000 people moved to flood shelters over the weekend and an equal number were waiting to be evacuated from water-trapped hamlets, Saiful Islam of the Disaster Management Bureau said.