Flood affects 753,580 people in NE Bangladesh

19:50, June 23, 2010      

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Some 753,580 people have been affected and thousands of hectares of crops damaged by floods after weeks of heavy downpours in Bangladesh's two northeastern districts, officials said Wednesday.

More than 135 unions, the country's lowest tire of administration, in the 15 sub-districts of Sylhet district and Maulvibazar district, about 241 km and 203 km northeast of capital Dhaka separately, have been flooded due to heavy rains and onrush of flood water from upstream during the last two weeks.

"Some 150,467 families -- around 753,580 people -- have been affected by the floods in Sylhet and Maulvibazar districts," a senior official at the country's Food and Disaster Management Ministry's control office told Xinhua Wednesday.

The official, who asked to be unnamed, said, "Sylhet and Maulvibazar district administrations have so far opened 110 makeshift relief centers where 18,503 people have taken shelter."

Five people, including four children, have so far died in floods triggered by at least two weeks of heavy rains in Maulvibazar. He said 9,535 hectares of farmland has been completely destroyed by floods in both districts.

Md Mostafizur Rahman, Maulvibazar district administration chief, told Xinhua over phone on Wednesday that flood situation in the district remained unchanged.

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