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Bangladesh Floods Cause Death and Destruction in Sylhet

Bangladesh Floods Cause Death and Destruction in Sylhet

PEKERKHAL, Bangladesh — Rohima Begum was cooking breakfast last week when the floodwaters flowed into her tin-and-bamboo home and began racing across the floor.

Ms. Begum, her three children and her mother made a quick escape in a small boat. When they looked back, the house and their possessions had been swept away.

“I’m having a tough time here, and I don’t know what comes next,” Ms. Begum, 28, said this week at a school building in Bangladesh’s landlocked northeast where hundreds of flood victims have been sheltering.

The Asia-Pacific region is used to the occasional flood. In Bangladesh and elsewhere, the rhythms of local life have adapted over centuries to the annual monsoon that typically runs from June to September and provides water that farmers need to grow rice, a primary food in many countries.

But this year, the rains have been especially intense, a harsh reminder that climate change is bringing more extreme weather around the world. In China, where recent flooding has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the state-run news media reported this week that water levels had surged beyond flood levels in more than a hundred rivers. In Bangladesh and northern India, recent flooding has washed away towns and train stations, killing dozens of people and displacing millions of others.

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As of Friday, at least 68 people in Bangladesh had died since mid-May from flood-related causes, including drowning, electrocutions and landslides, government data show. More than 4,000 people have been infected with waterborne diseases. Crops have been devastated.

The northeast, an area that produces most of the rice for a country of about 170 million people, has been especially hard hit. At least 384,000 people have been displaced in Ms. Begum’s home region of…

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