Thousands hit by flooding in Bangladesh and Assam

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - More than 85,000 people have been affected by weeks of flooding in northern Bangladesh and India's eastern state of Assam, officials said Thursday.

"There are repeated flash floods in higher areas, rivers have burst their banks as a huge volume of water is coming from upstream in India," Mokhlesar Rahman, chief of Lalmonirhat district in Bangladesh, told AFP.

"At least 12,000 people are affected in my district and thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed," he said, adding that the government was providing emergency food aid to flood victims.

A further 13,500 have been affected in nearby Kurigram district.

Across the border in India's Lakhimpur district, an estimated 60,000 people were displaced in flash floods triggered by heavy rains over the weekend, an Assam state government bulletin said Thursday.

There were no reports of casualties.

"Some areas are still under floodwaters and hence more than 70 percent of the people displaced in Saturday's flooding are lodged in makeshift shelters on raised platforms or in government offices," the statement said.

Flooding and river bank erosion during the monsoon season is common across south Asia. Pakistan this year has suffered its worst ever flooding, with more than 17 million people affected and at least 1,600 killed. --AFP