Bangladesh

Monsoonal floods hit Bangladesh, trapping thousands in villages

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Dhaka_(dpa) _ Monsoonal torrents touched off the summer's first floods in Bangladesh, wiping out scores of villages and trapping thousands of farming families in inundated homes, rescue officials and witnesses said Tuesday.

Heavy rains dumped since the weekend swelled the Borak River and its tributaries, the Surma and Kushiyara, in the north-eastern region of Sylhet.

Officials in the Food and Disaster Management Ministry said 6,000 families were left stranded in the flooded hamlets in Zakiganj county, which also faced tropical storms overnight.

About 80,000 flood-stricken people were evacuated or left their homes in the Maulvibazar district as the flooding intensified with water gushed from across the Assam hills in eastern India, submerging more areas in Bangladesh.

Nearly 150 villages were washed away as the rush of water from the bordering Indian state of Tripura engulfed rice farms in the Comilla region in eastern Bangladesh.

"The flood situation is likely to worsen in the coming weekend with more seasonal rains expected in the next few days," said Ataur Rahman of the local flood-monitoring centre of the Water Development Board. dpa af ls

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