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More than 16 million affected by flooding in South Asia

18 Août 2017

Floods and landslides have claimed more than 250 lives in India, southern Nepal and Bangladesh, while millions of others have been displaced since the start of the monsoon season in June, officials said.

"This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods", said Martin Faller, deputy regional director for Asia Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Another relief organization, Save the Children, said the situation in South Asia is "extremely desperate".

"The sheer volume of water is also making it really hard to access some of the communities most in need". "Once the floodwaters recede, we know that longer-term support will be critical to help communities fully recover, including getting schools re-opened so children can get back to the safety and routine of the classroom, and supporting farmers to get back on their feet".

The agency cited local authorities as saying that flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh, and water of major rivers such as the Jamuna has surpassed warning levels set in 1988, the deadliest floods the country has ever faced.

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"More than one-third of Bangladesh and Nepal have been flooded and we fear the humanitarian crisis will get worse in the days and weeks ahead", Faller said. The IFRC said over 3.9 million people were affected by the rising waters, and the situation was likely to get worse as swollen rivers from India poured into the low-lying and densely populated areas in Bangladesh.

In Nepal, many areas remain cut off after the most destructive floods and landslides in recent times on August 11-12.

On Thursday, air force helicopters dropped food packets in flood-hit villages of eastern Bihar state where 78 people have died since June.

Arvind Kumar, a neighboring Uttar Pradesh state government official, said that monsoon floods caused havoc in 22 of 75 state districts, killing at least 33 people since the start of monsoon rains.

In a makeshift relief camp in Kaliabor, 160 kilometres east of Assam's main city of Guwahati city, families said they had not received any aid. What's more, India's meteorological department is forecasting more heavy rains for the region in the coming days.

More than 16 million affected by flooding in South Asia