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Millions in South Asia hit by floods and landslides after severe monsoon rains

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Heavy monsoon rains have triggered widespread floods across India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Dozens of people have reportedly lost their lives and thousands have been forced from their homes.

Floods and landslides have also inflicted significant damage to homes and infrastructure across all three countries.

Here’s a summary of the situation and how the Red Cross is responding.


Following extensive drought earlier this year, India is now facing above average monsoon rainfall across three quarters of the country.

The worst affected states include Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the northeastern state of Assam, where floods have affected nearly 1.7 million people.

Media reports indicate that 15 people have lost their lives.

The people of Assam are no strangers to heavy rainfall and floods. Forty per cent of the state is prone to flooding.

But the intensity of these floods is greater than normal due to excessive rains and floodwaters from adjoining states.

Authorities have established 472 relief camps, which are providing shelter for nearly 113,000 people.

Indian Red Cross volunteers are supporting authorities with the search and rescue operation. They are also providing first aid.

The Red Cross has so far supplied over 1,400 family packs, as well as 1,000 blankets to help people affected by the floods.

The packs include: clothing, a towel, bedding, a kitchen set, a tarpaulin and a mosquito net.

The Red Cross is also sending water purification units to the worst affected areas to supply clean water to affected communities.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is set to launch an emergency operation to support the Indian Red Cross in helping 25,000 people in Assam.


The early monsoon rains have triggered floods and landslides across 25 districts in Nepal.

According to media reports, at least 68 people have lost their lives.

The Nepal Red Cross says 5,600 people have been forced to flee their homes.

Nearly 8,000 families (roughly 40,000 people) have been affected and more than 400 homes destroyed.

Some 745 Red Cross volunteers are helping local authorities with the search and rescue effort.

Volunteers are also distributing relief items – tarpaulins, blankets, family tents, hygiene kits, food – and are assessing the damage.

Some areas of the country are proving difficult to access due to high water levels and landslides.


At least 820,000 people have been affected by the floods in Bangladesh and the situation is deteriorating on a daily basis.

Dangerously high river levels have forced thousands of people from their homes. River levels are forecast to continue rising over the next few days.

Many families are living under the open sky and there are shortages of clean water, food, medicine and fuel.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent is distributing food in seven affected districts: Kurigram, Bogra, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Sunamganj.

Eight water treatment kits have been deployed in four districts - Bogra, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Kurigram - to supply clean water to affected communities.

Volunteers have also distributed cash to 1,000 households in Nilphamari, so families can buy food.

The IFRC is supporting all three national societies in their emergency response work.

Martin Faller, head of operations at the IFRC, said: “These communities are used to dealing with floods and landslides. They are an annual event during monsoon season.

“But this year is different. These floods are far more intense. People were simply not prepared for such excessive rainfall.

“The sheer number of people affected is incredible and could yet rise as the scale of the damage becomes clear.

“As ever, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers were among the first to respond and help people.

"We will continue to do all we can to support communities, both in the short and long-term.”