Refugees hit hardest as deadly floods sweep across continents

·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

As heavy rains and floods dominate headlines around the world, displaced people and those living in conflict zones are among the worst affected.

Wind and heavy rain from monsoons and typhoons has bombarded much of Asia. There have also been downpours and flash floods in parts of Latin America and Africa.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban said 150 people were killed by flooding in the eastern province of Nuristan, which it controls. The group appealed to the public for help.

The provincial government asked for access to allow rescue efforts, but Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said its own rescue teams had been sent, mostly to the village of Merdesh, where 200 homes were destroyed.

In Myanmar, nearly 50,000 people were evacuated after heavy rains damaged homes in the states of Kayin, Mon and Rakhine. Thousands more were pre-emptively moved to safer locations. The monsoon was forecast to continue into Saturday.

Across the border, eastern Bangladesh hosts 1 million Rohingya refugees who fled Rakine state. At least six refugees were killed during three days of flooding that damaged shelters and caused landslides. Almost 5,000 people were made homeless, according to the UN’s refugee agency.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said 13 Bangladeshis also died in the nearby areas of Ukhiya and Teknaf.

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The Philippines capital city, Manila, has been affected by heavy rain connected to Typhoon In-Fa since last week. The threat of flooding remains for parts of the country as the monsoon weather continues. In Thailand, about 200 families were displaced after riverbanks burst in some rural areas.

In Colombia, where flooding has cut off aid deliveries to refugees in Ituango, the government’s meteorological agency announced on Thursday that rainfall was expected to rise by 40%.

Two people were killed in Costa Rica and infrastructure has been damaged after persistent heavy rainfall since 23 July. Authorities said 3,000 people went to emergency shelters to escape the weather. The mayor of Turrialba, 40 miles east of the capital, San José, said it received the whole of July’s usual rainfall in a single day.

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One person was killed in neighbouring Panama, where more than 27,000 people have been affected by floods caused by heavy rainfall since 23 July.

Bocas del Toro province was one of the worst-hit regions. All rivers and streams reached maximum levels, leading to flooding, landslides and collapsed roads. More rainfall is expected in the coming hurricane season, according to the Red Cross.

Between 20 and 24 July, flash floods hit displacement camps in Sudan’s Darfur region, destroying and damaging houses and water sources.

Nigerian authorities have warned that flooding in the coming weeks could affect about 170 communities in the north, causing damage to crops and homes and increasing the risk of water-borne diseases like cholera.

Echo, the EU’s humanitarian office, said half of Nigeria’s states were experiencing a cholera epidemic with 3,650 cases in the past two weeks.

Heavy rains have continued in western India’s Maharashtra state, where 209 people died after floods and landslides buried houses.

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