ACAPS Briefing Note: North Bangladesh - Floods (27 August 2014)

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Crisis Overview

Since 13 August continuous rainfall in north and northeastern Bangladesh, together with the onrush of water from upstream, have caused flash floods in low-lying and densely populated areas. More than 800,000 people have been affected, including 500,000 displaced. As of 25 August, humanitarian actors on the ground report nine deaths. The most affected districts include Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj, Sunamjong and Sylhet.

Key Findings

Anticipated scope and scale

Around 810,000 people have been affected, including 500,000 displaced. Thousands of hectares of crops have been lost, and countless homes and buildings. More low-lying areas are feared to be under water in the next few days. 43 of 83 measuring points at rivers across the country showed rising trend, with falls at 32 points, seven remaining the same, one went unreported. People are living in very poor conditions, which are likely to worsen if the rains continue.

Priorities for humanitarian intervention

  • Food and cooking material, safe drinking water, and emergency shelter are reported as the main immediate priority needs.

  • Opening and repair of roads and access points.

  • Access to healthcare and medicines for water-borne illnesses

  • Response should concentrate in the districts affected by river and monsoon in the north; and the Haor basin and flash flood areas of the northeast. New areas are reportedly being affected daily.

Humanitarian constraints

  • Limited access to marooned populations and restricted means of transportation due to flooded roads.

  • Inconsistent information on affected population and response efforts.