More Than 200,000 Bangladeshis Marooned by Monsoon Flooding

Heavy monsoon rains and flash floods have inundated homes and crops in northeastern Bangladesh, stranding more than 200,000 people, officials and witnesses said Wednesday.

The region's Surma and Kushiara rivers crossed their flood marks late Tuesday, local Water Board officials said. The area is about 120 miles northeast of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, and borders India's Assam state, which is also facing floods.

In the worst-hit districts of Zakiganj and Kanaighat, the Kushiara breached parts of a mud flood-protection levee, washing away homes and farms, said Abdul Gafar, who lost his mud-and-straw hut

CountryWatch: Bangladesh

More than 200,000 villagers were marooned as floodwaters submerged their homes and croplands in the two districts, located about 56 miles east of Sylhet city, said a local resident, Abdul Khalique Tapadar.

Many villagers, along with their cattle, were sheltering on higher ground or in concrete school buildings, he added.

Floodwaters also submerged roads, rail tracks and ferry terminals, disrupting transportation in the districts, while parts of Sylhet city were also inundated in knee-deep water, witnesses said.

Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 144 million people, is prone to seasonal floods and cyclones.