A humanitarian crisis is unfolding across large areas in South Asia, with more than 16 million people affected by monsoon floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday, reports Xinhua
The agency cited local authorities as saying that flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh, and water of major rivers such as the Jamuna has surpassed warning levels set in 1988, the deadliest floods the country has ever faced, China’s official press agency adds.
"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," the IFRC said in a statement Friday, citing its staff for Asia Pacific region.
According to the statement, more than one third of Bangladesh and Nepal have been flooded, and the humanitarian crisis could get worse in the days and weeks ahead.
In Nepal, the IFRC said, many areas remain cut off after recent destructive floods and landslides, and many villages and communities are stranded without food, water or electricity.
"This tragic flooding in Nepal has claimed at least 128 lives and 33 people are still missing," Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, secretary general of the Nepal Red Cross Society, was cited as saying.
In Bangladesh, the IFRC said, over 3.9 million people have been affected by the rising flood waters, and floods are likely to get much worse as swollen rivers from India pour into the low-lying and densely populated areas in the northern and central parts of the country, says Xinhua news agency.
In India, over 11 million people are reportedly affected by floods in four states across the north of the country. What's more, India's meteorological department is forecasting more heavy rains for the region in the coming days.