Flooding in Asia Continues to Displace Millions, Death Toll Rising Rapidly

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Torrential monsoon rains in the aftermath of Cyclone Komen continue to cause flooding in India, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, leaving hundreds dead and millions displaced.

In India, at least 206 have been killed due to monsoon-related accidents, according to government officials.

Last week, a flooded bridge derailed two trains carrying as many as 1,600 passengers traveling in Madhya Pradesh, killing dozens.

In West Bengal, 97 are dead while hundreds of thousands of people have been moved to relief camps to escape the floods. Though there has been a respite in rainfall, the largest problem is now overflowing dams and rivers which have risen above danger levels.

Elsewhere in India, roads, dams, and rivers are overflowing, sending floodwater into villages and forcing local residents to flee their homes.

Pakistan

Other countries in the region are also experiencing extreme difficulties due to heavy rains.

In Pakistan, the flooding has affected over one million people, killing 166 and forcing 803,271 people to evacuate their homes, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority. The government has set up over 70,000 tents and has distributed over 4,000 tons of food to the worst-affected areas.

Myanmar

Meanwhile in Myanmar, severe flooding has caused the death toll to reach at least 96 while 330,000 others have been affected, according to a state-run newspaper, which cited government officials.

The government says flooding has destroyed 10,956 homes and 217,580 acres of farmland, displacing 85,400.

The U.N. and other international NGO’s have stepped up aid efforts, distributing more than 387 metric tons of food for 103,000 people, and 620,000 water treatment tablets, as of Thursday.

“Thousands of people have lost homes, livelihoods, crops and existing food and seed stocks. Food security will be seriously affected,” said World Food Programme Country Director Dom Scalpelli. “In coordination with the Myanmar Government, we are acting quickly to provide emergency relief and prevent this disaster from exacerbating existing food insecurity and malnutrition.”

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced $600,000 of immediate relief through USAID to help the country meet its most urgent needs, at an ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday.

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