New Delhi: At least 221 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced by monsoon flooding across the South Asian countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Janardan Sharma, Nepal’s home minister, told parliament on Tuesday that 111 have been killed and 35 are still missing in the country, which has seen nearly 20 percent of the population affected by severe flooding.
Residents in Nepal’s hard-hit Saptari district blamed the government for failing to solve the seasonal floods and quickly send aid to those in need.
Nepal’s government has been criticised for enacting a “one-door” policy requiring all aid for flood victims to flow through a government-run central disaster agency.
A third of neighbouring Bangladesh is also under water, with at least 29 people dead.
“Another 1.5 million people have been marooned,” Reaz Ahmed, head of Bangladesh’s disaster management department, told a news agency.
Almost 1,200 shelters have been erected across Bangladesh, while the army has been deployed to reinforce weakened river embankments and to assist with search and rescue operations.
In the border district of Lalmonirhat, about 600 Indian nationals took shelter in Bangladeshi villages along with their stricken livestock, Shafiul Atif, the local government administrator, said.
India has also suffered from torrential downpours and flash flooding, worsening a monsoon that has already claimed lives.
At least 81 people have died in the eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal and Assam over the last few days, a government official said.
Train services have been cut entirely to the northeast, and at least 200,000 people are living in emergency camps in Assam, a remote state that suffers frequent flooding during the annual rains.