At least twelve people have been killed and an estimate 200,000 left homeless in widespread flooding in Bangladesh.
At least twelve people have been killed and an estimate 200,000 left homeless in widespread flooding in Bangladesh. Most of the damage is in the north, where three major rivers have burst their banks.
SYNOPSIS: The devastation is a double disaster for the poverty-stricken nation, whose people are almost used to the annual ravages of cyclones, monsoon and flooding. For this is the main jute-growing area in Bangladesh -- which earns two thirds of its foreign exchange from the crop. The exact magnitude of the damage was difficult to assess, but it's certainly severe according to at least one local newsman on the scene. Apart from foreign exchange, jute is the main cash crop for peasant farmers.
Relief officials have said the situation was not yet out of control, and that Bangladesh did not need foreign assistance.
But by Thursday (1 September) the flood waters were still rising, threatening rail and land communications. Jute crops already harvested were taken out of the danger areas by sampans, and a report from there says the rest of the crop may be so badly damaged that foreign aid will be required.