DHAKA, Bangladesh ( Associated Press) – At least 18 people have died in floods in northeast India and Bangladesh, leaving millions of homes under water, officials said. Officials gave this information on Saturday.
According to the State Disaster Management Agency, at least nine people have died and nearly two million homes have been submerged in floods in the Indian state of Assam.
In addition, nine people were killed in lightning strikes in parts of Bangladesh on Friday.
The two countries have asked the military to assist in dealing with the severe floods, which may worsen as the rains are likely to continue through the weekend.
The Brahmaputra river, the largest river in Asia, has breached its earthen dams and inundated 3,000 villages and farms in 28 of Assam’s 33 districts.
“We expect moderate to heavy rains in different parts of Assam till Sunday. The amount of rain is unprecedented,” said Sanjay O’Neill, an official at the Meteorological Center in Assam’s capital Gauhati.
Several train services were canceled in India. In southern Assam’s Haflong town, the railway station was submerged in water and rushing rivers deposited mud and sediment along the railway tracks.
In Bangladesh, the districts adjacent to the Indian border are the most affected.
According to the forecast center located in the country’s capital Dhaka, the water level in all the major rivers of the country is increasing continuously. There are about 130 rivers in the country.
The Center said the flood situation is likely to worsen in Sunamganj and Sylhet districts of Northeast region as well as Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts of northern Bangladesh.
According to airport manager Hafiz Ahmed, flight operations at the Osmani International Airport in Sylhet were suspended for three days as flood waters almost reached the runway.
Bangladesh, a country of 160 million people, is at a low level and facing natural disaster threats related to climate change. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if global warming continues at current rates, 17% of people in Bangladesh will have to relocate over the next decade.
Hussain contributed to this report from Assam, India.