- Bangladesh: Dike holds, but for how long?
India: Millions face hunger, disease China: Disease spreads as floods persist
Sudan: Rising Nile leaves many homeless Mexico: Flooding leaves dozens
- DHAKA, Bangladesh (CNN) -- Bangladeshi troops, police, civil engineers
and volunteers joined forces on Thursday to try to save a vital embankment
threatening to collapse under surging floodwaters in a heavily populated
- About 600,000 people living near the
capital of Dhaka were at risk, and emergency shelters to which they could
flee were already overcrowded. Many were praying for divine help to avoid
- Floods throughout Bangladesh -- and in
many other parts of the world in recent months -- have killed thousands
of people and brought the threat of further tragedy to millions more through
disease and food shortages.
- Bangladesh: Dike holds, but for how long?
- Dhaka's flood Forecasting and Warning
Center said Thursday a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) stretch of a longer earthen
embankment that protects the city had been further weakened by the overflowing
of the Buriganga and Sitalakhiya rivers.
- The center said that both the rivers
were likely to swell further under the impact of gushing waters from their
- People threatened by the weakened embankment,
which also links Dhaka to nearby towns, were warned Wednesday night to
prepare for evacuation. But the United Nations noted this week that the
emergency shelters were severely overcrowded.
- "This overcrowding combined with
shortages of food, safe drinking water and adequate safe sanitation facilities
are the almost perfect breeding ground for major disease outbreak and public
health crisis," the United Nations said in a statement appealing to
the world to help Bangladesh.
- Floodwaters have submerged much of the
overcrowded nation. The deluge has claimed more than 850 lives and displaced
more than a quarter of the country's 124 million people. More than half
of Dhaka has been submerged for the past two months.
- The flooding also has increased the spread
of waterborne diseases and destroyed an estimated 2.3 million tons of rice.
- <Picture: IndiaTwo girls rush to their
home with fresh water in eastern India
- India: Millions face hunger, disease
- Millions of people in the eastern Indian
state of Assam are at risk after the worst floods in 50 years, officials
- More than 150 people have been killed
in Assam, where floodwaters from the Brahmaputra river have submerged some
5,000 villages in the past nine weeks.
- Domestic news agencies Thursday said
more than 1,800 people had died in floods across northeastern India, with
the highest toll of 1,281 deaths reported in the sprawling state of Uttar
Pradesh, bordering Nepal.
- Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on
Thursday undertook an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Uttar Pradesh
and later compared the devastation with a mythological deluge Hindus believe
inundated the world.
- In Assam, the agricultural and environmental
effects of the flood have been devastating, officials said, pointing to
the destruction of 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) of rice and other
crops, and the inundation of the massive Kaziranga National Park, home
to thousands of endangered animals.
- More than 5 million people in Assam have
been left homeless, and a health official warned of the growing incidence
of diarrhea, resulting from the consumption of polluted water and rotten
- China: Disease spreads as floods persist
- Outbreaks of snail fever and other diseases
have been reported in the vast flood zone along the Yangtze River, a Chinese
Red Cross official said Thursday. Relief officials also said fever spread
by rats is threatening flood victims huddled in overcrowded refugee camps.
- More than 9,000 medical teams are dispensing
water purification tablets and treatment for people who have had contact
with polluted floodwaters and risk getting snail fever, or schistosomiasis,
said Sun Baiqiu, vice president of the Red Cross Society of China.
- Both diseases are caused by parasites
and can cause liver, urinary, lung and nervous system disorders.
- There have been 513 cases of snail fever
reported in Jingzhou, a county in Hubei province, the official China Daily
newspaper reported. Many snail fever control stations had been destroyed
by the floods, and Jingzhou urgently required medicine and relief funds,
- In China's far northeast, colds and pneumonia
have been reported, but the main threat is the bitter winter just ahead,
- The ground is expected to freeze before
it dries out enough to allow rebuilding. In heavily flooded Heilongjiang
province, winter temperatures drop to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit (minus
30 Celsius) -- far too cold to survive in the tents that have served as
temporary shelters, she said.
- The worst floods along the Yangtze River
since 1954 have killed more than 3,000 people nationwide and left millions
homeless this summer, according to government statistics.
- Sudan: Rising Nile leaves many homeless
- Floods and heavy rains have destroyed
119,000 houses and left more than 200,000 people homeless in nine Sudanese
states, the government said.
- The government has mobilized troops to
fight the worst flooding along the Nile River in a half century and is
considering evacuating thousands of people in districts near the capital
- The worst-hit regions in Sudan, Africa's
largest country, are the Shamalia and el-Nil states north of Khartoum.
- On Tuti Island, located in the Blue Nile,
a few hundred yards (meters) from where the river meets the White Nile,
more than 10,000 inhabitants have been battling the surging river for three
- A 2.5-mile-long wall of sandbags has
been erected to save thousands of homes.
- Meanwhile, air drops and feeding centers
operated by international agencies hoping to alleviate a famine in southern
Sudan are relieving some suffering, but people are still dying at an alarming
rate, the United Nations said Wednesday.
- <Picture: MexicoThe Guatan River overflows
in the city of Tapachula, in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas, Wednesday
- Mexico: Flooding leaves dozens dead
- Bracing for fresh rains, army troops
and the Red Cross on Thursday worked feverishly to bring emergency supplies
to tens of thousands of Mexicans stranded by deadly floodwaters in southern
- Muddy torrents have ripped walls from
concrete houses, smashed highways into pieces and dragged major bridges
into their depths.
- Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo arrived
late on Wednesday to southernmost Chiapas state to oversee relief efforts
to the area, soaked by six consecutive days of rains that left an estimated
25,000 homeless in more than 50 towns and villages.
- At least 33 people have drowned and,
because dozens of towns are entirely cut off by the water, it is impossible
to know for sure how many more may have been swept to their deaths.
- Zedillo said dozens of people were missing,
and predicted it would be days before rescuers could reach some towns.
- The Associated Press and Reuters contributed
to this report.