Delta flooding

Speaking of floods

As the world’s media trains its sights on the tragic events in Texas and Louisiana, another water-driven catastrophe is unfolding in villages like Beraberi throughout Bangladesh and parts of Nepal and India.

There, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) estimates that at least 1,200 have died and more than 41 million people have been affected by monsoon rains and severe flooding as of June this year. The rains are now moving northwest towards Pakistan, where more devastation is expected.

At its peak on August 11, the equivalent to almost a week’s worth of average rainfall during the summer monsoon season was dumped across parts of Bangladesh in the space of a few hours, according to the country’s Meteorological Department, forcing villagers in low-lying northern areas to grab what few possessions they could carry and flee their homes in search of higher ground.

And still the rains keep coming. In Bangladesh alone, floods have so far claimed the lives of 142 people, and [affected] over 8.5 million.

In Beraberi, one of numerous island villages know as “chars” dotted along the Jamuna River, entire homes have been washed away, and crops and food supplies — including livestock — all but wiped out. When aid workers carrying relief parcels from the IFRC arrived by helicopter earlier this week, villagers described the rains as the “worst in living memory.”

It’s played hell with the rice crop.

This is just a taste of what global warming is going to do to Bangladesh. And that’s not even all.

The sheer number of displaced people would be a monumental challenge for any government, but in Bangladesh, where as many as 27,000 Rohingya refugees have this week arrived across the border from Myanmar — joining an estimated 85,000 currently housed in camps — the situation becomes additionally perilous.

Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries on the planet.

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