Heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in parts of Bangladesh and India, leaving millions stranded and at least 57 dead, officials say.
In Bangladesh, around 2 million people have been stranded by the worst flooding in the northeast of the country in nearly two decades.
At least 100 villages in Zakiganj have been inundated after floodwaters rushing in from northeast India breached a major embankment on the Barak River, said Mosharraf Hossain, the region’s chief government administrator. of Sylhet.
“So far, some two million people have been stranded by the floods,” he said on Saturday.
Many parts of Bangladesh and neighboring parts of India are prone to flooding, and experts say climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events around the world.
Dozens of people were killed in India during the week in floods, landslides and thunderstorms, according to local disaster management authorities.
In the state of Assam, which borders Bangladesh, at least 14 people have died in landslides and floods.
Authorities in Assam said on Saturday that more than 850,000 people in around 3,200 villages had been affected by the floods, triggered by torrential rains that submerged swaths of farmland and damaged thousands of homes.
Nearly 90,000 people have been moved to state-run emergency shelters as river water levels rise and large swathes of land remain submerged in most districts.
West of Assam, at least 33 people were killed in Bihar state during thunderstorms on Thursday.
More than three dozen people were injured in the off-season weather events that damaged hundreds of hectares of standing crops and thousands of fruit trees.
Bihar has also suffered an intense heat wave this week, with temperatures reaching 40C.
In Zakiganj, Bangladesh, people were seen fishing on submerged roads and some residents took their livestock to flood shelters.
Bus driver Shamim Ahmed, 50, said: “My house is waist deep in water. There is no drinking water, we collect rainwater.
“The rain is both a blessing and a curse for us now.”
All the furniture in widow Lalila Begum’s house was destroyed, she said, but she and her two daughters stayed put, hoping the waters would recede within a day or two.
“My two daughters and I put one bed over another and live on it,” she said. “There is a shortage of food. We share food and one meal a day.
Floodwaters entered many parts of the town of Sylhet, the largest in the northeast, where another official said around 50,000 families had been without power for days.
Hossain, the chief administrator, said the floods were due to both the rains and the influx of water from across the border into Assam.
But officials said the broken embankment at the Zakiganj border could only be repaired once the water level drops.