Devastating seasonal monsoon rains, flooding and landslides in South Asia have killed more than 1,200 and affected nearly 41 million across northern India, southern Nepal and northern Bangladesh.
The flooding is typical for the June-September monsoon season in the region, but international rescue and aid organizations said the flooding is the worst it’s been in decades. International aid agencies said thousands of villages have been cut off by flooding with people being deprived of food and clean water for days.
Devastating Damage by Moonsoon Floods in South Asia
More than 850 people have been killed by floods in India alone, Reuters reported, citing Rajan Kumar, a central government official overseeing rescue and relief work. Of these, nearly 400 are believed to have died in the eastern state of Bihar, one of India’s poorest regions.
In Nepal, estimated deaths from flooding exceed 350, according to the UN. In Bangladesh, the IFRCRC estimated that more than 140 people had been killed, with almost 700,000 houses damaged or destroyed.
According to the Red Cross, at least 7.1 million people have been affected in Bangladesh – more than the population of Scotland – and around 1.4 million people have been affected in Nepal.
Army troops have been helping to evacuate people marooned on rooftops or trees, while air force helicopters dropped packets of food, drinking water and medicines to those camping on higher ground, mostly along highways.
The U.N. World Food Program said that Bangladesh was at risk of “devastating hunger” after major floods that destroyed crops, homes and livelihoods of people across many impoverished areas in a delta nation of 160 million people.
“Many flood survivors have lost everything: their homes, their possessions, their crops,” Christa Rader, WFP’s Bangladesh country director, said in a statement. “People need food right now, and the full impact on longer-term food security threatens to be devastating.”