Heavy Monsoon Downpours Hit Bangladesh, Impacting Nearly 500,000 People

Bangladesh has deployed its army to help people in severely flooded areas after the country was hit by heavy monsoon downpours.

At least 500,000 people have been impacted by worsening flooding in eastern Bangladesh, mostly in Sylhet Sunamganj and Kurigram districts, local media reported.

Bangladeshi authorities later confirmed media reports, saying that the floods have harmed nearly half a million people in at least 600 villages in Companiganj, Gowainghat, Sylhet Sadar, Jaintiapur, Kanaighat, and South Surma towns.

According to the Bangladesh military’s Inter Service Public Relations office (ISPR), floods have destroyed thousands of homes and knocked out power in the northeastern districts.

On Friday morning, some villages in Sylhet city in eastern Bangladesh, around 230 kilometers from the capital Dhaka, were cut off completely from the rest of the country as the water level rose overnight, cutting off all contact. Water also entered homes in Companiganj and Gowainghat villages, leaving residents stuck without food or drinking water.

It was the worst flooding the region has seen in almost two decades, the civil administration added.

Authorities were forced to request the army’s deployment on Friday morning, hoping to rescue stranded people and provide relief materials to those affected by the floods.

According to local media outlets, the abrupt rise in water levels resulted from prolonged rain and the swelling of major rivers such as the Surma, Kushiara and Sari. The country has 130 rivers, and many have reached dangerous levels in some regions.

The water level was knee-deep on Thursday but surged swiftly in the last few hours, inundating entire homes and villages.

Although there have been no casualties reports, local government officials have stated that they are on high alert and have set up shelters for people impacted and stranded by the floods. However, many are unable to approach them because the roads are still flooded, and they do not have boats to go out to meet their basic needs.

The flood situation in the worst-affected Sunamganj and Sylhet districts in northeastern Bangladesh is expected to worsen during the next 24 hours, the government’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Center in Dhaka said.

Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts are also on alert as monsoon rains hit northern Bangladesh.