India and Bangladesh: Heavy rain, flooding and lightning leave dozens dead

In the state of Assam, at least 41 people died and seven people were missing on Tuesday, according to the state disaster management agency, which maintains 1,425 aid camps with 230,000 displaced people.

Northeast India and northern Bangladesh have been particularly hard hit by storms, causing some of the region’s worst flooding in years and cutting off some cities.

In the north-east Indian state of Bihar, a lightning strike killed 17 people on Saturday, according to Prime Minister Nitish Kumar.

And in the nearby state of Meghalaya, which also borders Bangladesh to the south, at least 24 people have died and three are missing since June 9, according to R. Lyngdoh, a senior official with the Meghalaya State Disaster Management Agency.

More than 633,000 people have been affected by the floods and the state’s disaster management agency will conduct airdrops of essential supplies for certain districts cut off from roads, Lyngdoh added.

In Bangladesh, flooding has submerged roads and highways, isolating entire districts from the rest of the country.

Enamur Rahman, the country’s minister of state for disaster management, told CNN on Sunday that at least two people had died from the floods. But reports from news outlets suggest the toll is much higher, as Reuters reported 25 deaths over the weekend, citing local officials.

A lack of telecommunications services has made it difficult to fully appreciate the extent of the damage, particularly in the hard-hit Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, Rahman said.

People gather Monday in a flooded area in Companiganj, Bangladesh, to collect food aid.

About 90 percent of Sunamganj was underwater and almost completely isolated from the rest of Bangladesh as of Sunday, he added.

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) news agency reported on Saturday that nearly six million people have been displaced due to the floods.

Officials said millions were being provided with food and shelter in makeshift relief camps.

“We had trouble establishing communications with some districts, but we are now in contact with all of them. Our main problem at the moment is the lack of drinking water and food, but we are arranging (some) and trying to transport them by helicopter. ‘ said Muhammad Mosharrof Hossain, a senior official in Bangladesh’s Sylhet Division, one of the worst-hit areas.

Around 300,000 people are currently being housed in emergency shelters, Hossain added.