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6/18/2007

Bangladesh faces unusual monsoon, fears flooding

Breaking Earth News

Bangladesh
Flood-prone Bangladesh is bracing for an UNUSUAL and unpredictable monsoon this year, with environment experts and officials blaming global warming, melting Himalayan glaciers, silted rivers and unplanned roads. Floods caused by days of torrential rain, described by weather officials as UNUSUALLY HEAVY and devastating, inundated at least a dozen out of Bangladesh’s 64 administrative districts. All major rivers including those flowing from the Himalayas through India have passed danger levels, flooding many villages and eroding vast tracts of land, leaving thousands homeless. In the northern district of Bogra, hundreds of mud-walled houses collapsed. Although the monsoon officially began only on June 7, already at least 30 people have been killed across the country in flooding which has damaged crops awaiting harvest and washed away dozens of fish farms. More floods, which experts predict could hit again around mid-July, would damage the country’s prime agriculture sector. Weathermen said they felt the weather was behaving strangely, especially during the monsoon which lasts until mid-September. “Now people often suffer more from months of waterlogging because the floods cannot recede quickly.” “The impact of unusual weather often hits our agricultural output.” Environment experts have warned that rising sea waters could mean that up to 11 percent of low-lying Bangladesh, home to more than 140mn people, could be permanently under water within 50 years, making millions homeless.

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