16m in Bangladesh, Nepal, India affected by flood: Red Cross

16m in Bangladesh, Nepal, India affected by flood: Red Cross”

Global aid officials say more than 16 million people have now been affected by seasonal flooding across a broad section of southern Asia.

In Nepal, many areas remain cut off after the most recent floods and landslides on August 11 and 12.

Meanwhile, Unicef in Bangladesh has started providing initial support to flood affected people in addition to the ongoing preliminary rapid assessment, said a press release yesterday.

Aid officials are calling it one of the worst regional humanitarian crises in years, as tens of thousands of people have been displaced, and concerns are growing about food shortages and the potential for disease.

"Millions of people across Nepal, Bangladesh and India face severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood waters", Faller said.

"We need donors' assistance and support from social organisations", an official statement said.

Soldiers have been forced to use motorboats to rescue people marooned on their rooftops, while air force helicopters dropped packages of food and drinking water to those trapped in their homes.

Flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh, according to local authorities.

"The immediate situation is extremely desperate", Save the Children Director Mark Pierce said in a statement.

In Bangladesh, floods are likely to get worse as swollen rivers from India pour into the low-lying and densely populated areas in the north and center of the country. At least 56 people have been killed and about 4 million are affected, the Red Crescent said on Thursday.

In the northern Indian state of Bihar, 11 million people have been affected by the flooding, with nearly 500,000 in 1,300 in state-run relief camps where they are being provided with food and medical care.

In a makeshift relief camp in Kaliabor, 160km east of Guwahati city, families said they had not received any aid.

"Though we come to expect these rains every year, this year is particularly severe", Save the Children India manager Murali Kunduru said.

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