The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) fears nearly six million people in South Asia are under threat from rising flood waters following heavy monsoon rains.
More than one million displaced in one Indian state alone, the IFRC warned before adding numbers of affected people is likely to rise and there are growing concerns about potential food shortages and disease outbreaks, BSS reports citing a media release.
“Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are racing to deliver emergency supplies to communities and prepare them as the situation in many areas are likely to worsen in the coming days”, says the IFRC statement issued on Tuesday (Jul 16).
“We are seeing growing numbers of displaced and increasing loss of life with each day of rain,” it quoted IFRC Regional Director for Asia Pacific Xavier Castellanos.
He said entire communities have been cut off by rising waters, increasing the risk of people going hungry and getting sick.
“All of our efforts right now are focused on reaching these people and ensuring that they have the supplies and support needed to withstand coming floods,” he added.
In Bangladesh, the release said one third of the country is under water displacing 14,000 people and destroying over 11,000 homes.
About India, it said in Assam state over a million people have been displaced after the Brahmaputra River, which flows from the Himalayas into India, burst its banks swamping more than 749 villages.
It said worst hit districts in south-eastern Nepal are submerged under water and inaccessible to Red Cross response teams.
“In all three countries, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams prepositioned supplies ahead of the rains so that volunteers can quickly deliver food supplies, first aid, clean water, temporary shelters and hygiene kits to affected communities,” IFRC’s regional director said.
More than 1,000 volunteers from the Bangladesh Red Crescent, Nepal Red Cross and Indian Red Cross, have been working alongside local authorities in conduct search and rescue efforts and to provide first aid and relief, said the release.
IFRC teams in the three countries are working alongside their local Red Cross and Red Crescent counterparts to deliver relief and recovery efforts and to coordinate international assistance if and when it is needed, it also said.