Bangladesh deploys army to help flood victims
Army soldiers were deployed to help flood victims Wednesday after swelling rivers washed away mud embankments and inundated more villages in Bangladesh, where monsoon floods have killed 60 people and marooned about a million over the past week.
The Jamuna River broke through parts of an embankment on Tuesday, swamping 11 villages and forcing at least 1,500 people out of their homes in Sirajganj district, government relief officials said. Surging flood waters washed away some 300 flimsy huts in Sirajganj, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Soldiers and volunteers dumped hundreds of sandbags to reinforce an embankment threatened by the swollen Gumti River in eastern Comilla district, said the area's government administrator Tariqul Islam.
Several thousand people living in villages near the embankment fled their homes in panic. The evacuees have camped in school buildings, Islam said. Comilla is about 90 kilometers (50 miles) east of Dhaka.
On Tuesday, a child drowned in flood waters in eastern Feni district, bringing Bangladesh's death toll from the weeklong flooding to 60.
Authorities said floods have inundated nearly 20 of the country's 64 districts, hitting nearly a million people, damaging crops and submerging roads.
Many people are marooned in their flooded homes and have lost crops, poultry and other livestock. Flood waters have submerged many wells, contaminating drinking water and causing diarrhea and fever. Bangladesh's weather office warned that more monsoon rains are on the way.