A report by Red Cross said on Fridat that a “serious” humanitarian crisis was unfolding across South Asia where “devastating” monsoon floods have affected more than 16 million people, including over 11 million in India.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), over 16 million people have been affected by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh with more than 400 deaths in the three countries.
“This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods,” said Martin Faller, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific IFRC.
“Millions of people across Nepal, Bangladesh and India face severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood waters,” Faller was quoted by news agency PTI.
In India over 11 million people are affected by floods in four states across the north of the country. India’s meteorological department is forecasting more heavy rain for the region in the coming days, the IFRC said in a report.
Around 74 more deaths were reported yesterday from the deluge-battered areas of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal, taking the figure of flood casualties to 119 in Bihar.
Flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh. Flooding of major rivers such as the Jamuna has surpassed levels set in 1988 the deadliest floods the country has ever faced, it said.
“More than one third of Bangladesh and Nepal have been flooded and we fear the humanitarian crisis will get worse in the days and weeks ahead,” Faller said.
In Nepal, many areas remain cut off after the most recent destructive floods and landslides, on August 11 and 12.
“This tragic flooding in Nepal has claimed at least 128 lives and 33 people are still missing,” said Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, Secretary General, Nepal Red Cross Society.
In Bangladesh, floods are likely to get much worse as swollen rivers from India pour into the low-lying and densely populated areas in the north and centre of the country. Over 3.9 million people have been affected by the rising flood waters, the report said.
Volunteers from Indian Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent are working non-stop alongside local authorities to help their communities be safe and prepare for worsening floods, it said.
IFRC released just over 320,000 Swiss Francs (USD 330,000) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in late July to support the immediate needs of 25,000 of the worst affected people in eastern India over three months, it added.
Geneva-based IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 190 member National Societies that work to save lives and promote dignity around the world.