Intense Flooding Kills 800 People in South Asia, Displaces a Million More

Aid workers carry drinking water to flooded communities in Bangladesh.

Aid workers carry drinking water to flooded communities in Bangladesh. Piash Kazi, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

The heaviest monsoon flooding in decades has wreaked havoc across south Asia in recent weeks, killing more than 800 people in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and displacing a million more, several news outlets reported. An estimated 24 million people in the region have been impacted by the heavy rains and landslides.

One-third of Bangladesh, for example, is submerged under floodwaters, and more than 45,000 homes in the country have been destroyed. “This is not normal,” Reaz Ahmed, the director-general of the country’s Department of Disaster Management, told CNN. “Floods this year were bigger and more intense than previous years.”, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a humanitarian group, said the flooding in Bangladesh is the worst the country has ever seen.

Water levels are beginning to recede, but government officials and humanitarian aid groups said they are now worried about the spread of water-borne diseases and food shortages.

The disaster in south Asia follows heavy flooding in China and Japan in July that forced more than 12 million people to flee their homes.

Climate scientists project that over the next 30 years, heavy rainfall events in Asia — already one of the wettest regions in the world — could increase by 20 percent.