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Flooding in Bangladesh leaves 20,000 homeless

Over 20,000 residents in the southeastern Cox's Bazar and Teknaf districts of Bangladesh have been displaced after severe flooding swept through the area, according to IRIN.

“The homes of more than 20,000 people have been completely destroyed by the floodwaters,” Rafiqul Islam, district relief and rehabilitation officer (DRRO) for Cox’s Bazar, told IRIN. "When the water recedes, many of these may also be inhabitable,” he said.

The more recent 20,000 families join the approximately 400,000 others who have already fled their homes. As the floods keep coming, there seems to be no return date in sight for these displaced people.

"When the water started rising, we were forced to leave our home and move to the hills," Ainul Hoque, a resident of the Ramu sub-district of Cox's Bazar told the news outlet. "It has already been a week. My house is still submerged."

Authorities say at least seven people have died so far in the floods.

One displaced father spoke about the recent flooding and how he and his family are coping, "We are surviving on water and dry food provided by the local authorities. My home is gone, along with my seedbeds. I have no idea what I will eat the rest of the year," he said.

The flooding is likely caused by continued deforestation in the region that allows soil to loosen and erode, making it easy for land structures to wash away and clog channels and rivers, Muhammad Babul Azam of CARE Bangladesh said.

Humanitarian groups continue to help all those affected by the flooding. Food, water and building materials have been coming in and will remain to ensure the safety of displaced residents.
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