Record South Asian floods bring fear of disease
Steady monsoon rains normally batter South Asia between June and September. But officials say this summer's rain and flooding may be the worst in 30 years. Because so many people live in low-lying areas, they have little protection from floods. The people of Bangladesh, Nepal, and India's Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states are also among Asia's poorest. Marzio Babille, the chief of health for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that clean water, basic hygiene and sanitation are "an apocalyptic issue" in these countries. Everywhere there are dangerous shortages of food, medicines and clean water. Local health authorities also warn about epidemics of encephalitis, malaria, dysentery, dengue fever and other diseases.
In a report issued today, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Association, another UN agency, said many parts of the globe have experienced weather extremes since the beginning of the year. It includes the current monsoon and flooding in South Asia.
APTN cameras recorded the ongoing flood damage and relief efforts in Bangladesh, Nepal and northern India.
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